Patience and Healing: Navigating Wisdom Teeth Extraction Recovery Time

Oct 10, 2023 | Blog Posts

Patience and Healing: Navigating Wisdom Teeth Extraction Recovery Time

Are you struggling with pain or discomfort due to emerging wisdom teeth? When the wisdom teeth move toward the gumline, they can put pressure on the surrounding teeth or become impacted. This calls for removal or extraction. Usually, this process can come with a lengthy recovery period. Wisdom teeth extraction recovery time requires patience for ideal healing.

Understanding Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are molars positioned in the back of your mouth at the top and bottom. These molars lie beneath the gumline and begin to emerge in your teens or early 20’s.

When wisdom teeth emerge from the gumline, they can cause several issues. They often put pressure on the existing teeth, leading to pain and discomfort. Sometimes, a wisdom tooth will emerge slightly from the gumline and become impacted. This creates an open gap in the gums, allowing bacteria in and leading to infection. When these things happen, wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

If the tooth is still fully or partially under the gum, a small incision is made in the gums during a wisdom teeth extraction. Then, the wisdom tooth is gently lifted away and removed from the mouth. Small sutures are used to close each incision, and this process is repeated for all four wisdom teeth.

The Recovery Period

The wisdom teeth removal procedure takes about one hour to complete.[1] When your surgery is finished, if you have been given sedation, your anesthesia will take 30 to 45 minutes to wear off. During this time, you may feel sleepy, lightheaded, or dizzy. If you haven’t had sedation, the numbing medications will wear off within 45 minutes to an hour.

Your oral surgeon will call in a prescription for pain relief medication to take once the numbing medication wears off. There may be tiny sutures in place where your incisions were made. For some patients, no sutures are required.

There will be gauze packing in place around each of the incisions that you’ll keep in your mouth for an hour to two to help with any residual bleeding. The gauze also helps your body to begin the healing process. After a few hours, you can remove the gauze from your mouth.

During your recovery period, you must practice good oral hygiene. Gently brush your teeth and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash after each meal. This will help keep the surgical sites clean.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Recovery Time

The duration of recovery can vary by person. But in most cases, it falls somewhere between one and three weeks. Several factors can impact your wisdom teeth extraction recovery time, including the following:

  • Complexity of the extractions
  • Individual healing abilities
  • Adherence to post-operative care

You must follow your post-operative instructions to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery. If you have any underlying medical concerns that affect the body’s healing response, it can take longer for your gums to recover fully. In these cases, you may experience mild soreness or inflammation for several weeks or longer.

Managing Discomfort and Swelling

There will be minor swelling and discomfort after a wisdom tooth extraction. You can use ice packs, over-the-counter pain medications, or your prescribed pain medications to manage these issues. Additionally, elevating the head can help reduce swelling. You will also need to avoid foods that require chewing to prevent irritating the incisions. Follow a liquid or soft diet of soup, soft scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, or smoothies for about three days after surgery. Though you may be tempted to reach for ice cream, be sure to try and avoid foods that are too cold or too hot during the first few days of recovery.

Potential Complications and Red Flags

Though rare, sometimes complications can arise after wisdom teeth extraction. For instance, you might experience a dry socket, which occurs when a blood clot at the incision site does not form or is dislodged from the area. Other complications include infection in the gums or excessive bleeding.

You must contact your dentist immediately if you experience persistent bleeding, severe pain, or prolonged swelling.

Healing and Patience

It would be best to exercise patience for optimal healing after wisdom teeth removal. Your body will take time to heal naturally and fully. Make sure to attend all follow-up appointments and carefully follow post-operative instructions to ensure a smooth recovery process.

Once you have fully healed from your wisdom teeth extraction, you can expect improved oral health and a resolution of any of the symptoms your impacted teeth were causing.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction at Albion Family Dental

Do you have a wisdom teeth extraction soon? Following proper aftercare will help you heal from your procedure and experience better oral health overall. If you have more questions about wisdom teeth removal, contact your dentist at Albion Family Dental at 585-589-9044.