If you wisdom teeth become impacted, causing infection and pain, it is likely that your dentist will recommend that you have them removed. This procedure will normally be carried out at a dental clinic. If your wisdom teeth create further complications to your oral health, your dentist may refer you to a hospital for surgery. While this isn't anything to worry about -- the procedure is carried out often and isn't dangerous -- you will have to ensure that you take care of yourself during the recovery process. Below are some tips to help you recover as quickly and comfortably as possible.
Watch what you eat and drink
Because of the anaesthetic used during the operation, it is likely that your mouth and gums will feel numb for several hours after you have had your wisdom teeth extracted. This increases the chance you will accidentally bite the inside of your cheek or scald your mouth without even noticing. For this reason, you should avoid eating hot or chewy foods in the hours after your operation. Instead you should eat food like yogurt, cold soup and ice cream.
Do not smoke
While most people are aware that smoking isn't good for them, few also know that it can dramatically slow down the healing of wounds after an operation. Exposing a healing wound to hot, toxic smoke can increase any inflammation and swelling. With this in mind, you should avoid smoking during the first few days of your recovery.
Do not drink alcohol
Although the idea of numbing any pain and discomfort with alcohol may seem attractive, it could actually have a negative impact on your recovery. Alcohol acts as a blood thinning agent within the body, which can lead to increased bleeding at the site of the extraction.
Manage your pain
For mild pain, you can use over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. However, your dentist will also assess your post-operative pain levels and will then, if needed, prescribe a suitable painkilling medication for more severe pain. If you continue to experience the same level of pain in the days after the extraction or if the pain increases, you should book another appointment with your dentist so they can check for signs of infection. If they discover an infection, they will prescribe further pain control as well as a course of antibiotics.
If you have any questions or concerns about wisdom teeth removal or your recovery, you should speak to your dentist for advice and treatment.