Wisdom tooth removal is a type of serious surgical procedure. It is important to take care of yourself properly during the days and weeks after it. Complications are very much possible although uncommon including dry socket. Dry socket is the result of a dissolved or dislodged blood clot in the location of the extracted tooth that leaves the nerve and bone exposed. But, as long as you take the necessary precautions, you will be able to reduce the risks of complications significantly.
Have Someone by Your Side to Help You
Depending on the amount of anesthesia used for your surgery, there is a high chance that you won’t be able to drive for some time after the procedure. See to it that there is someone who can drive you home and take care of you. It is also best that you warn them in advance of other precautions since the medication and anesthesia might cause sleepiness and you may also forget some things you should and shouldn’t do after wisdom tooth removal.
Take Some Rest
Give your body the chance to recover. After all, you just underwent surgery. You will need enough time for recovery from the surgery itself and the anesthesia. You might also feel extremely tired for the next several days. Allow yourself to recuperate and rest. This way, your recovery process will be smoother and safer as well.
Use Ice Packs
Your neck and face may swell for several hours to several days after having your wisdom tooth removed. You can use ice packs to help soothe the surgical site and reduce swelling if it occurs. Your dental surgeon may also give you a cloth or netted headwrap that will help ensure that the ice packs stay in place.
Replace the Gauze
Your dental surgeon will place wads of gauze at the back of your mouth meant to stop the bleeding. Ensure that there is fresh and clean gauze waiting for you at home that you can use as a replacement to prevent infections.
Say No to Smoking and Straws
This one is very important. Never, ever use a straw to drink after wisdom tooth removal. That sucking motion you make when drinking through a straw might dislodge the blood clots and lead to dry socket. You also need to refrain from smoking cigarettes as well as this creates the same effect. Always drink straight from the glass or cup every time you need to drink.
Go for Cool and Soft Foods
After wisdom tooth removal, both your jaw and mouth are going to feel sore and that space where your tooth used to be is going to be exposed and prone to dry socket and infection. It is a must that your diet will only be composed of soft foods that are in a room or cold temperature only. This is not a good time to eat hot foods as these might dissolve that blood clot that protects you from getting a dry socket. It is best to eat foods such as ice cream, pudding, protein shakes, mashed potatoes, and other soft meals.
The number one thing to remember after wisdom tooth removal is to follow the directions and instructions of your dental surgeon. This way, you can be well on your way to recovery so you can return to your normal life as soon as possible.