In fairy tales, when you lose a wisdom tooth, the tooth fairy gives you money in exchange. In real life, removing your wisdom tooth is not as much fun, but there are things that you and your dentist can do to make the experience better.
When Do You Have to Remove Your Wisdom Tooth?
Your wisdom teeth are located at the back of your mouth. They erupt between the ages of 17 and 21, as permanent replacements for the baby teeth located there.
Sometimes, this process of eruption, when the teeth cut through the gums and emerge, can go faulty. When this happens, the wisdom teeth can grow in painful angles, or, they may be “impacted”, which means that they fail to cut through the guns or jawbone.
In these scenarios, your dentist is likely to recommend removing your wisdom tooth. This is a very common procedure with a high level of success. The surgery is fairly simple: your family medicine doctor cuts into the gums or jawbone to get to the wisdom tooth, and then removes it.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
According to Colgate, recovery typically takes three to four days, assuming that you maintain proper oral hygiene and follow the dentist’s instructions about how to take care of your teeth and the area where the wisdom tooth was removed. If your wisdom teeth were impacted, then recovery could take a week or so. Pain from the extraction typically goes on for about 3 days to a week, unless you suffer an infection or from a dry socket. Swelling will ease after 2 to 3 days, while any stiffness and soreness will disappear after 7 to 10 days.
What Influences Recovery Times?
Although we have an idea of average recovery times, you should understand that recovery rates are different for each person. You may recover faster or slower than average, depending on your age, overall health, diet and other factors.
The younger you are, the faster you heal, because your jawbone is softer, so it;s easier to remove your wisdom tooth. If you are older, your wisdom teeth are bigger and your jawbone is denser. Surgery will take longer along with recovery.
What’s the Best Way to Recover?
In the first few days, you should try and take a break from your normal schedule. Although you will be able to function normally without a break, taking one will speed up recovery. A break will ensure that the blood clot forming on the extraction area is not dislodged.
To reduce swelling and any discomfort, apply an ice pack over the swollen area.
If you are suffering from any pain, your dentist will be able to prescribe a painkiller for you, or you can get one over-the-counter.
After the first day, rinse your mouth gently with salt water, at least twice a day, to sanitize the area and reduce the risk of infection.
During the recovery period, you should stick to soft foods such as soup, yogurt, eggs and cheese, and avoid hot foods or food that could end up in the socket, causing pain and hurting your recovery.