What to expect from wisdom teeth extraction.
Wisdom teeth removal worries people, but it needn’t. This post will run through what to expect in the days and weeks following the extraction.
There are a variety of reasons your dental specialist will recommend that some or all of your wisdom teeth are removed. In most cases it is because X-rays have shown that one or more of those extra set of molars are pushing your other teeth around or causing mouth pain or bite problems.
The first few days afterwards
In the first few days after surgery patients who have had one or more of their wisdom teeth removed under either a general or local anaesthetic can expect to endure swelling, bruising and obvious discomfort around the extraction site.
Infection can be a real risk as can blood clots which can lead to other complications.
In addition, tightness in the jaw may mean you find it painful to open your mouth fully, which in turn will mean compromise when it comes to the type of food and drink you are able to consume. All of this is normal, and will pass.
What to eat
But the news isn’t all bad.
Aside from the obvious health benefits associated with having your compromised wisdom teeth extracted, there are also victories to be had when it comes to the dietary requirements of a patient recovering from surgery around their mouth.
Proper nourishment aids the healing process so as far as your diet is concerned you get to regress to early childhood and enjoy all soft healthy foods that you can comfortably consume.
In the days immediately after surgery this may include liquids or pureed foods such as soups, pastas, mashed potatoes, yogurt, milkshakes or smoothies.
You may have heard about the positive effects ice cream can have on a mouth that has recently undergone trauma.
Foods to avoid
But while the healing powers of ice-cream cannot be underestimated, like everything, it is best when consumed in moderation.
When cold food comes in contact with the nerve endings in the mouth it can stimulate the part of the teeth that might not be protected by enamel. While this is unlikely to cause long damage in the short term, in the long term the sugar it contains may lead to decay.
Other foods to be wary of when recovering from oral surgery include nuts, popcorn and sunflower seeds as there is a very real chance these could get lodged in the socket areas further delaying the healing process.
Thought should also be given to how liquids are consumed post-surgery as the sucking motion required when using a straw could potentially dislodge a blood clot from the socket where your wisdom teeth were removed.
Drinks to avoid
The gum tissue usually takes around three to four weeks to heal so its best to avoid sugary drinks such as carbonated or caffeinated drinks as this could irritate your mouth. Similarly, it’s best to avoid drinking hot drinks for the first day or two after surgery as your mouth may potentially still be numb from the extraction meaning you may not notice if it burns your mouth.
You should always call your oral surgeon if you experience any signs indicating infection, nerve damage or other serious complications