Wisdom teeth are oversized molars that tend to grow at the back of your mouth. For most people, their wisdom teeth protrude through the skin during their teenage or early adulthood years (usually at the ages of 17 to 21). Other people might not have any wisdom teeth grow in at all. Sometimes, wisdom teeth may pierce through the gums only partially or even come in at an angle. These are referred to as impacted wisdom teeth, and they can result in issues such as infection or oral pain.

As such, your dentist may consider wisdom teeth removal surgery; however, it can take as long as 2 weeks to make a full recovery. The length of your wisdom teeth removal recovery will depend on the tooth as well as the surgery itself.

Wisdom Tooth Recovery Timeline

You can expect the healing process to follow a general timeline. However, keep in mind this is an estimate; it is not set in stone as many variables can affect your wisdom teeth removal time length.  

  • Initial 24 hours post-surgery: Expect the formation of blood clots
  • 2 to 3 days: Oral inflammation will begin subsiding
  • Week one: Your dentist might remove any remaining stitches
  • 7 to 10 days: Alleviation of sore or stiff jaw 
  • Week two: Remaining surface bruising will heal and subside

How to Accelerate the Recovery Process

The space left in the absence of your wisdom tooth may develop blood clots. Don’t be alarmed by this; blood clots are critical to the healing process as they:

  • Can prevent excessive bleeding
  • Help prevent the wound from becoming infected
  • Enable the growth of new tissue
  • Add protection to the now exposed bone

Also, it is important (for at least the first 24 hours post-surgery) not to dislodge these blood clots.  You should try your best to avoid:

  • Mouth rinsing
  • Consuming hot beverages 
  • Eating food where chewing is involved
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, sucking on straws, etc.

What to do Post-Surgery

To aid recovery, you should provide detailed information on any medications you’re taking. Post-surgical advice may include:

  • Biting down on a gauze pad in the operated area for an hour
  • Using an ice pack post-surgery for at least the first few hours
  • Keeping an ice pack to your face over the extraction area for 15 minutes (this will help reduce swelling and discomfort) 

Also, avoid driving for at least 48 hours after your wisdom teeth removal surgery. If possible, take a couple of days off work after your surgery; you can also take medication to aid in pain relief such as ibuprofen.

Home Care Tips

It’s crucial to ensure the wound remains clean as it heals. You will need to still eat and drink; however, some of the food you consume can easily get lodged in the tooth removal area. This may make keeping the wound site clean a challenge.

Here are a few tips to help keep the wisdom tooth extraction site as clean as possible:

  • Use an antiseptic mouth rinse to stave off infections
  • Rinse with warm salted water to minimize inflammation and ease the pain of sore gums (only after the first 24 hours of surgery have passed)
  • Raise your head while sleeping to enhance comfort

In addition to pain, you may also feel tired after your wisdom teeth have been removed. As such, you might want to avoid any strenuous exercise for at least a few days after your surgery.

What You Should Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Consuming soft or liquid foods is best to help prevent any damage to your post-surgery wounds. Some of these foods may include:

  • Noodles
  • Bananas
  • Soups
  • Gelatin
  • Yogurt

The first few days post-surgery will require that you avoid chewing; this means you should hold off on solid foods as well as gum or sticky candy. These can get lodged in the extraction area and cause pain, prolonging the healing process as a result. Also, try your best to avoid hard or crunchy foods, such as

  1. Chips
  2. Nuts
  3. Seeds
  4. Pretzels
  5. Anything hot or spicy

Final Thoughts

Recovery from wisdom tooth removal surgery typically takes about 2 weeks in total (provided the proper aftercare is taken). However, you can most likely continue with your daily routine after a few days. At Brentwood Dental Clinic, we are a team of expert dentists boasting decades of experience. Moreover, we offer everything from dental crowns to root canal treatments to meet all of your oral health needs. So if you’re ready, contact us today to learn more.

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