This four-part article series provides an in-depth review of wisdom teeth, what they are and what the procedure and recovery process involves in their removal.
Welcome to the final installment of this four-part article series on wisdom teeth. Throughout the course of this series, Silver Spring dentists have addressed the following frequently asked questions:
1. What are wisdom teeth?
2. Why are they necessary?
3. How do I know if I have them?
4. What are some of the problems commonly associated with the emergence of wisdom teeth?
5. What is the procedure followed to extract wisdom teeth?
6. What is the post-operative healing experience like?
Now we shall look at some final issues surrounding the recovery process (after the 24 hour mark) and some additional bits of advice, courtesy of an experienced dentist in Silver Spring MD.
The Recovery Experience: After 24 Hours
1.You should stick to a diet of very soft foods for the first few days after you’ve had oral surgery. This will give your wisdom teeth sockets a chance to heal.
2. Avoid alcohol as it thins the blood and can encourage bleeding. It also interacts badly with narcotic pain medication.
3.“You should absolutely continue to brush your teeth. After 24 hours you can gently brush the area immediately around the site of your wisdom teeth, although it will probably still be quite tender,” says the Silver Spring dentist.
4. Avoid commercial mouthwash, as they can be too harsh on your healing gums. Instead, mix some salt and warm water and rinse your mouth with it after meals and before you go to bed at night. Salt water is excellent for cleaning wounds and preventing infection.
5. “After the first 24 hours, you should apply a heat pack to the cheek outside the site of your former wisdom teeth,” says the dentist in Silver Spring MD. “As with the cold packs, you should apply the heat in a cycle of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.”
6. Many Silver Spring dentists make use of self-dissolving stitches, so you may not need to return for their removal a week later. Your dentist will advise you accordingly.
7. If you notice any problems that persist for longer than a week, such as moderate to sever pain and swelling and/or terrible bad breath, do not hesitate to contact your dental healthcare provider.
Are There Any Potential Complications I Need to Be Aware Of?
With the right post-operative care, you should be able to avoid infection and heal successfully from wisdom teeth extraction. Having said this, there are two complications that can arise after having this procedure done, so you should be aware and seek prompt treatment should you notice their symptoms...
“Dry socket occurs when the blood fails to clot or else the clot has been dislodged,” explains the Silver Spring dentist. “When this happens, the empty tooth socket is left wide open for bacteria and food debris to become trapped. Healing is delayed and patients can notice persistent pain (that can be mild to severe) and terrible halitosis, or bad breath. Dry socket can be treated by placing anti-bacterial and blood clotting medications in the tooth socket.”
Part - 3