If dentist recommends to remove your wisdom teeth, don’t panic. You’ll be just as wise after the extraction as you were before. In fact, when these third molars begin to affect your oral health, having them removed is the smartest choice. You’ll want to play it safe and follow all aftercare instructions to properly heal and prevent any complications later.
Why Aftercare is Crucial
A dry socket develops when the newly formed blood clot within the socket is dislodged or dissolves, exposing bone and nerve endings. In addition to severe pain, symptoms of dry socket as described by the Dental Clinic Tampines are bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth, visible bone within the socket, swollen lymph nodes in your neck area and a fever.
To prevent potential problems after removing wisdom teeth, here are your post-extraction healing instructions:
Apply ice packs to the outside of your mouth intermittently (15 minutes on, 15 minutes off) for up to two days to minimize swelling, bruising or any discomfort. If your tooth was infected prior to removal, your dentist may ask you to use warm, moist compresses rather than ice.
Limit eating, drinking and talking for the first two hours following surgery, and plan to rest for the remainder of the day. To keep from dislodging the blood clot, don’t rinse vigorously or use a straw when drinking. Additionally, avoid rigorous exercise for a few days, as well as smoking or spitting excessively on the day of the surgery or as long as there is bleeding. After 12 hours, you can gently rinse with a diluted mouthwash. Carefully brush your teeth the night of the surgery, but avoid the surgical area as best you can.
After the bleeding stops, drink lots of lukewarm or cold fluids to keep hydrated. Eat regular meals, as advised by Dental Care Singapore, but begin with clear liquids and soft foods. Puddings, gelatins, eggs, mashed potatoes and cooked cereals are good choices, as are vegetables, meats and fruits that have been liquefied in a blender. To avoid dislodging the blood clot, stop drinking carbonated beverages and eating foods like popcorn, peanuts, and pasta that may leave particles in your socket.
Take prescribed pain medications and antibiotics for infection exactly as directed by your dentist. And remember, if you are taking a strong narcotic pain medication, you’ll be asked not to drive or operate machinery and to avoid alcoholic beverages.
When to Call Your Dentist
Any pain and swelling you have should improve each day, but call your dentist if you experience any of the following:
- Swelling that gets worse instead of better.
- Excessive bleeding that won’t subside with pressure.
- Severe, throbbing pain three to four days following surgery.
- An elevated fever that persists.
Whether you have one wisdom tooth removed or all four, keep in mind that your dentist knows how to get you through this procedure without complications; you just need to use your wisdom to listen.