Wisdom teeth are your third molars that typically erupt during your late teens to mid-twenties. Unfortunately, as you already have a full arch of teeth, there is often not enough room in your jaw to accommodate your wisdom teeth, which can lead to a host of issues, including impaction.
Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the tooth fails to emerge or only partially erupts through the gum line and begins to grow at an abnormal angle. Impaction can increase the risk of tooth decay, dental abscesses, gum disease, and an infection known as pericoronitis.
Often the only option is a wisdom tooth extraction to remove the affected tooth. However, many people are reluctant to have wisdom tooth removal due to anxiety over what to expect during treatment and wisdom tooth extraction recovery. Learning more about wisdom tooth extraction recovery can help alleviate any fears and can improve the healing process.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
The times it takes to heal from a wisdom tooth removal depends on the severity of the impaction and the type of wisdom tooth extraction performed. A simple extraction is performed on a fully or partially erupted tooth that is not impacted. The treatment is performed under local anaesthetic in a dental chair, and the initial recovery phase may take as little as three days.
A complex wisdom tooth extraction is usually performed under general anaesthetic and requires the dentist to incise the gum tissue to remove the tooth. They may also need to section the tooth for easier removal. The gum must be sutured with dissolvable stitches after the surgery, so recovery can take between 1-2 weeks. However, it may take up to 4 weeks before the sutures are fully dissolved.
How to Speed Up a Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery?
To minimise the risk of post-surgical complications and infection, there are several measures you can take to improve your comfort and speed up the healing process after a wisdom tooth removal.
Avoid strenuous activity, including heavy lifting and bending, for at least 2 days following treatment. Rest with your head elevated using an extra pillow to reduce swelling.
Eat a Soft Food Diet
A soft food diet minimises irritation around the extraction site and prevents food from becoming caught in the socket.
Eat a nutrient-dense diet to ensure you are consuming adequate vitamins and minerals for recovery. Smoothies, porridge, scrambled eggs, and lukewarm soups are excellent options.
Do not eat or drink hot or spicy substances or drink through a straw, as this can irritate or dislodge the clot in the socket.
Use OTC Medication
If you experience discomfort after treatment, you may take OTC anti-inflammatory medications.
Applying a cold pack to the side of your face can numb the affected area to reduce discomfort and minimise swelling. Place the cold pack on your cheek for 5-10 minutes at a time.
Rinse With a Salt Water Solution
Though you shouldn’t rinse for 24 hours after a wisdom tooth extraction, you can gently swish a saltwater solution around your mouth to remove food particles and prevent bacterial growth.
Book Your Wisdom Tooth Removal at Bright Dental Group
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, don’t wait to book your wisdom tooth removal for fear of the wisdom tooth extraction recovery process. Contact the team at Bright Dental Group on (02) 4708 9691 to schedule your consultation and discuss your recovery options with our experienced dentists.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.