Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery

Most people are less concerned with how the extraction is performed and more concerned with how it will feel and how long the recovery will take. Because you'll be sedated, it's unlikely you'll experience pain during the tooth removal process. But, while wisdom tooth extractions are routine, you'll need to take your recovery seriously or else experience unpleasant and painful consequences.

Your doctor will likely give you pain medication to help ease your post-extraction discomfort. Bed rest is necessary for at least the first 24 hours following wisdom tooth removal, and you should avoid exercise for three to four days [source: Virginia Oral and Facial Surgery]. The combination of a few hours rest and pain medication may make you overly optimistic about returning to your normal activities. This is common, but if you're tempted to return to your normal routine in less than 24 hours, you're asking for trouble. The more you move, the more blood will pulsate to the already sensitive areas.

Bleeding can occur during the first couple of days post-removal, and swelling in the mouth and cheeks may be apparent for several days. Your oral surgeon will give you gauze to place over the sutures or area where the wisdom teeth were extracted. In addition, there may be bruising on your face. Ice packs can be helpful during the recovery, too [source: Virginia Oral and Facial Surgery].

Because your mouth will be quite sensitive, soft foods like mashed potatoes, soups or even cool nutrition like smoothies are good choices. You'll also want to avoid nuts and seeds for as much as six weeks following wisdom tooth extraction [source: Virginia Oral and Facial Surgery].

To speed the recovery and prevent infection, continue good oral hygiene. You can even brush your teeth the night after surgery; just remember to avoid the extraction area.

With attention to your doctor's orders, you should have a swift and uneventful recovery.