Wisdom teeth removal is regarded as one of the most common dental procedures that many people go through in their late teens or early twenties. To put it in perspective, it in itself is relatively a straightforward surgery. However, the recovery period can be a tad uncomfortable and quite lengthy. Having said that, it is pertinent to mention that the recovery experience may vary patient to patient. Understanding the wisdom teeth recovery timeline can help you prepare for the process and ensure that you heal properly.
Day by day wisdom teeth recovery timeline
Here’s a day-by-day wisdom teeth recovery timeline to help you understand what to expect after surgery:
Immediately after surgery
Once the surgery is completed, the patient is taken to a recovery room and kept under observation until the effects of anesthesia wears off. During this time, the patient might feel dizzy and disoriented. In addition to this, you may also temporarily experience pain and swelling in your mouth.
After the wisdom tooth extraction, it is of paramount importance that the patient takes ample rest so that the body gets it fair share of time to recover. Moreover, unless your anesthesia has worn off completely, do not indulge in food or drinks. Other than this, the dentist will provide instructions on pain management and what to do as aftercare.
First 24 hours
The first 24 hours after the surgery, by far, is the most uncomfortable period. The patient shall likely experience bleeding, swelling, and pain; but temporarily. As for the pain, the dentist will prescribe painkillers.
During this time, make sure to avoid any strenuous physical activity and take a lot of rest so that the body can heal. Additionally, avoid consuming alcohol, smoking or using a straw to drink. This is because these activities can disrupt the recovery process and can lead to complications.
In the days following your extraction, the pain and swelling might remain but with reduced intensity. The patient might also encounter slight bruising on the face and neck. However, this is normal and should subside within a span of few days.
Here is a reminder to keep avoiding any strenuous activity during this time and take quality rest. The patient, however, can begin gently rinsing the mouth with warm salt water to help disinfect and heal.
The patient should begin to feel more comfortable by the fourth day and expect the pain and swelling to start to subside. Also, by now the patient can go back to their normal life and resume the day-to day affairs. However, make sure to still avoid any strenuous physical workout routines, or heavy lifting for at least a week.
Other than this, stick to the aftercare routine as per the dentist’s instructions and keep rinsing the mouth with warm salt water. As for diet, stay away from crunchy foods and consume more fruit shakes for nutrition and regularly take all the prescribed medication.
In the days following of the wisdom teeth extraction, the patient may still experience some pain and swelling in your mouth. The patient may also notice some bruising on your face and neck. This is normal and should subside within a few days.
The patient should continue to rest and avoid any strenuous activity during this time. They can also begin to gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help keep it clean and promote healing.
By the end of the first month the patient should be fully healed. Their mouth should feel normal, and any residual pain or discomfort should be gone.
How to speed up wisdom teeth recovery?
While the recovery timeline for wisdom teeth removal varies for each individual, there are some steps you can take to help speed up the healing process and reduce discomfort. Here are some tips to help you recover from wisdom teeth removal faster:
Rest and limit activity
It’s essential to give the body the time and rest it needs to heal after wisdom teeth removal. Avoid any physical activity, such as exercising or lifting heavy objects, for at least 24-48 hours after surgery.
Apply ice packs
Applying ice packs to your cheeks for 10–20 minutes at a time, with 10-minute breaks in between, can help reduce swelling and pain. Do this for the first 24–48 hours after surgery.
Follow a soft food diet
Stick to a soft food diet for the first few days after surgery. Avoid hard, crunchy, and spicy foods that may irritate the surgical site. Stick to soft foods like smoothies, soups, mashed potatoes, and scrambled eggs.
Use salt water rinses
Rinse the mouth gently with saltwater, starting 24 hours after surgery. This will help keep the mouth clean and promote healing. Mix a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gently swish it around the mouth for 30 seconds.
Take medication as prescribed
The dentist may prescribe pain medication or antibiotics to manage pain and reduce the risk of infection. Take them as prescribed to help speed up recovery.
Avoid smoking and alcohol
Smoking and alcohol can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications. Avoid smoking and alcohol for at least a week after surgery.
Maintain good oral hygiene
Brush and floss the teeth carefully to keep the surgical site clean and prevent infection. Be gentle while brushing near the surgical site to avoid disrupting the blood clot.
It is important to continue to care for your mouth and maintain good oral hygiene to prevent any future dental problems. This may include regular dental check-ups, brushing and flossing your teeth daily, and avoiding sugary or acidic foods and drinks.
Remember, everyone’s recovery timeline is different, and it’s essential to follow your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully. If you experience severe pain, swelling, or bleeding, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately. With proper care and attention, you can speed up your wisdom teeth recovery and get back to your regular routine in no time.
If you have wisdom teeth to be extracted, or you’ve recently extracted a wisdom tooth, we recommend you to read the following too: