If you are considering wisdom teeth removal surgery, there are a few important post-operative tips that will help to make your healing process as safe and pleasant as possible. First of all, it is important to understand the root cause of the pain. In some cases, the wisdom tooth erupts partially or gets trapped beneath the gums. It may also emerge at an angle thus crowding adjacent teeth. These are all examples of impacted wisdom teeth. The end result of an impacted wisdom tooth usually involves varying degrees of irritation, swelling, pain or tooth decay.

Given that a dentist or dental surgeon usually administers anaesthesia to enable a comfortable removal procedure, the process is safe and relatively painless. Depending on the number of teeth that needs removal, the dentist may opt for either local or general anaesthesia. Soon as the anaesthesia wears off after the surgery, the patient would normally experience some pain, facial swelling and to a lesser degree, jaw stiffness.

To minimise such discomforts and improve the healing process, it is important to follow the post-operative care tips outlined below:

Get plenty of rest

The importance of rest and relaxation within the first 24 hours after the surgery cannot be over-emphasized. As is the case with most surgical procedures, the body undergoes a degree of trauma during a wisdom teeth removal procedure and needs to recuperate in the initial period. Depending on the extent of surgery and patient’s fitness level, it may take a few days to a week for him or her to return back to normal routine.

Reduce inflammation with ice pack/ medication

It is possible that you may experience oral tissue inflammation following the surgery. Placing an ice pack on the affected part of your face, jaw or neck can provide pain relief and reduce the swelling. You may also take anti-inflammation medication as instructed by your dentist or dental surgeon. Follow the frequency and dosage instructions carefully as they may vary depending on the procedure.

Return to normal diet gradually

Do not attempt to eat solid food immediately after your wisdom teeth removal. Eating solid food too soon after the surgery may disrupt the protective blood clots and hinder their formation over your wounds. This can cause a nasty infection and result in unnecessary complications. You should start with a soft diet that includes plenty of liquids and semi-solid foods. It may take several days to a week before you can resume your normal diet.

Take pain-relief medication

This is a standard post-operative care step that applies to most, if not all wisdom teeth removal cases. As with the anti-inflammation medication, it is important that you follow the doctor’s directives as carefully as possible. Note: The medication will need time to take effect. Do not be tempted to increase the prescribed dosage if the pain relief has yet to take effect.

Be careful what you put in your mouth

Following the surgery, you need to be extra careful what you put in your mouth that may disrupt the healing process or even worse, cause an infection. You should take a break from smoking as it is known to increase the risk of infection. During the first week or so, you should avoid drinking straws and other objects that involve sucking or blowing air into your mouth. Again, the air pressure may disrupt the blood clots from forming properly.