Having impacted wisdom teeth extracted typically requires surgery. While modern medicine has been greatly improved by technology, surgery is still, nonetheless, not without risks. Complications following surgery can be reduced by adhering to the proper after-care protocols. Here's is what you need to know about your wisdom teeth surgery post-operative care.
What To Expect Immediately After Surgery
When you wake up in the recovery room, you mouth will be packed with gauze. This is to stem bleeding as well as quench saliva. Once your physician has determined that the bleeding is under control and the majority of the anesthesia has worn off, you will be allowed to go home. You will not be able to drive yourself, however. The staff will provide you an after-care kit that includes more gauze bandages.
What To Do When You Get Home
- By the time you are back home, you will likely be hungry and in need of a bandage change. Carefully remove and dispose of the gauze bandages in your mouth. Very carefully eat a pudding, gelatin, or yogurt cup.
- You should not eat anything hot, like soup, at this point. Your mouth will still be numb, and your stomach cannot handle anything more substantial yet due to the anesthesia. After you have finished eating, take the first dose of whatever pain reliever and antibiotic the doctor has prescribed.
- Do not rinse your mouth out with water, and avoid touching the extraction sites with your tongue. It is extremely important that blood clots form and do not become un-lodged.
- Re-pack your mouth with fresh gauze, and then sit upright in a recliner. It's important to keep your head elevated to slow bleeding. You will need to change the gauze pads regularly and use ice packs on both sides of your face for the remainder of the day until bedtime.
What You Should Eat And Drink
Now that you have gotten through the immediate post-op period, you can eat something of more substance than pudding. Creamy mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, cream of rice cereal or thinned oatmeal, and chicken broth are all good options. After eating, very carefully swish warm salt water around your mouth to help keep it clean and reduce bacteria.
Don't forget to stay well hydrated as well, but under no circumstances should you use a straw. While this may seem like a good idea, the sucking motion can help to dis-lodge the blood clots in the cavities where your teeth used to be. This can lead to a very painful condition known as dry socket, which will require further medical intervention. Do not smoke for the same reason.
Recovering completely from wisdom teeth surgery takes about six weeks, but you should be feeling much better after two weeks. Remember to take it easy and reduce your activities during the recovery period. For more information, talk to a professional like Peninsula Community Health Services- Medical (Cottonwood).