One of the most common oral surgeries is wisdom teeth removal. Though there are several reasons that can affect wisdom teeth treatment recovery time, wisdom teeth removal recovery may take up to about a couple of weeks to fully recover. The body’s immune system and how well the patient looks after the wound can help the wound to heal faster.
Wisdom teeth are the large molar teeth at the back of the mouth. Most people will have their wisdom teeth evolve between the ages of 17 to 25, while some people may not have any wisdom teeth.
Sometimes, some patients may not have enough space in their jaw for the growth and alignment of the wisdom teeth. As a result, the wisdom teeth may erupt from the gum only partially or at an awkward angle. Such a case is referred to as impacted wisdom teeth, and whenever this occurs, it usually causes dental problems like pain or bacterial infection.
How Long Does It Take For Wisdom Teeth To Heal?
After wisdom teeth removal, some patients may require stitches on the gum to help close up the wound. In such a case, the oral surgeon would leave the stitches for about a week before removing them. This, therefore, lengthens the wisdom teeth recovery period.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth surgery can cause pain, swelling, and bruising, requiring additional healing time. Though wisdom teeth recovery is not rapid but gradual, patients should be able to notice or see some improvements every day.
The wisdom teeth recovery time can be broken down into these stages:
- Formation of blood clots – 24 hours after wisdom teeth removal.
- Swelling of the cheeks and mouth subsides – after 2 to 3 days.
- Your dentist removes any remaining stitches – in 7 days.
- Soreness and jaw stiffness recedes – 7 to 10 days:
- Healing of any mild bruising on the face – 2 weeks.
Therefore, wisdom teeth recovery should take just about 2 weeks. However, recovery time differs for every patient. For example, if a patient has a weak immune system and the wound becomes infected, or if the blood clots become dislodged from the wound, the recovery time may be longer.
How to Speed Up Healing Time for Wisdom Teeth Treatment
Naturally, blood clots should form on the spots where the wisdom teeth were extracted. Blood clots are very critical to the healing process because:
- They help arrest excessive bleeding
- They protect the wound’s surface, thereby preventing a bacterial infection from getting in.
- They enable new gingival tissue to grow
- They protect any exposed jawbone
With this, it is very important not to dislodge the blood clots within the first 24 hours after the wisdom teeth removal. To prevent the dislodgement of the blood clots, patients should not:
- Brush the teeth adjacent to the extraction spots. The toothbrush may accidentally dislodge the blood clots.
- Rinse the mouth
- Take hot drinks
- Eat foods that require chewing
- Drink alcohol, smoke, or suck on straws for at least 24 hours after the wisdom teeth treatment.
However, after 24 hours, the patient can gently rinse the mouth with an antiseptic mouth rinse to prevent infection. More so, warm salt water can be used to rinse the mouth to reduce swelling and soothe sore gums. To feel more comfortable sleeping, the patient may have to raise his or her head. Upon visiting the dentist, ask them to guide you about how long wisdom teeth recovery time is and what you can do for better care. If you already have dental problems, ask them how long wisdom teeth removal recovery time is in your particular case.
What to Do Immediately After the Wisdom Teeth Extraction Surgery?
After the surgery, the oral surgeon would advise on how to aid recovery. The patient must heed such advice.
The dentist would give clear information on medication to take and proper dental hygiene practices to encourage healing. The patients must carefully follow these.
The patient may be advised to bite on a gauze pad in the extraction spot for about 30 minutes.
The oral surgeon may also suggest that the patient hold an ice pack outside the mouth over the extraction spot for about 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for the first few hours after surgery. This will help in reducing any swelling and discomfort.
Wisdom teeth surgery is a painful procedure. Therefore, pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen, should be taken by the patient after the surgery to relieve discomfort.
The patient should not be allowed to drive within 48 hours after the surgery. This is because he or she may still be under the influence of the general anesthetic. If possible, the patient should take 1 or 2 days off duty or school after the dental surgery.
Wisdom Teeth Removal After Care
Once your wisdom tooth is removed, you can expect pain, swelling, and a little bleeding. If you’ll ask the dentist – how long does it take for wisdom teeth to heal? They might say it depends upon how well you take care of yourself. Below-mentioned is some tips to speed up the wisdom teeth removal recovery time:
Be careful not to dislodge the blood clot. It can start the bleeding again.
Avoid brushing, spitting, flossing, rinsing, or drinking because it can delay wisdom tooth healing.
Do not consume solid foods, foods of extreme temperature, and alcohol/caffeine for a few days.
Following these tips can lessen some days from the estimation of “how long to recover from wisdom teeth removal”.
What Foods Can I Eat After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Eating can be really difficult after undergoing wisdom teeth treatment. However, there are some foods that the patient can eat to aid the recovery process. These include:
Eating liquid and soft foods, such as soup, jello, soft noodles, eggs, mashed banana, etc., can help to prevent damage or injury to the extraction area.
For the first few days after the wisdom teeth surgery, try as much as possible to avoid foods that require chewing – chewing gum, sticky candy, etc. – these may get stuck to the affected area and can cause damage or pain to the healing wounds. Also, avoid crunchy and hard food like seeds, nuts, pretzels, chips, and hot or spicy foods. Try to keep chewing to the opposite side of the mouth as much as possible.
If you observe good and proper oral aftercare processes, the wisdom teeth removal recovery time should take only about 2 weeks. If you develop any bacterial infection, take antibiotics as quickly as possible.
In case blood clots do not form on the extraction spot or if the blood clots get dislodged, you may experience a dental condition known as “dry socket”. A dry socket causes severe, throbbing pain. In such a case, your emergency dentist may need to cover the extraction area with a dressing.
Click here to learn more about wisdom teeth extraction. If you have questions about wisdom teeth extraction and treatment, don’t hesitate to contact one of our dental professionals today.