During adolescence or early adulthood, some people grow an extra set of molars. Although not everyone does, those who do find themselves with extra teeth often experience oral health problems related to them. The teeth can cause other adult teeth to shift and move forward, which is not only painful but also causes aesthetic problems, especially in those who have already worn braces to straighten teeth. To prevent these problems, many people opt for wisdom teeth extraction.
Side Effects of Extraction
Wisdom teeth extraction is a serious oral health surgery that requires strong pain medication for most people. Side effects include pain, swelling and overall discomfort for as long as a week. During the first few days after surgery, it is very important you do not disturb the blood clot because doing so will slow the healing process, sometimes significantly. For this reason, you cannot brush your teeth for the first 24 hours after surgery. In addition, you will not be able to eat solid food or drink hot beverages, alcohol or soda for at least the first few days after. Many people recommend waiting a week or two before completely returning to normal eating and drinking habits. Exact recovery time will depend on how bad your wisdom teeth were impacted before extraction.
How to Ease the Recovery Process
For the first day or two after your wisdom teeth extraction, you will like want to take time off of work or school to recover. In addition to being in pain, you will probably also be using strong pain medication that could make you act a bit silly—not a very good look for a professional setting. Most people return to work after 24-48 hours. Because the blood clot is easy to jar, you will need to avoid serious physical activity for about two weeks. This includes strenuous workouts, although moderate ones are usually acceptable. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication coupled with an ice pack to reduce swelling helps most people. Finally, be sure to follow your oral surgeon’s after-care instructions. He or she will likely have you rinse often with a saltwater solution to prevent infection and will recommend soft foods such as applesauce or yogurt.
Not everybody will have wisdom teeth grow in, and of those who do, not everybody will require surgery to prevent oral health problems. However, if you find yourself fin pain or see that your teeth seem to be changing in appearance, you should consult with an oral surgeon at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona about wisdom teeth removal.