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What Not to Do After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

added on: January 22, 2023

An estimated 85% of Americans will have their wisdom teeth extracted in their lifetime. While this procedure usually takes place in the late teens or early twenties, your dentist in Manassas may recommend it at any time, especially if they’re starting to cause problems. Even though wisdom teeth surgery is incredibly common and doesn’t typically cause problems, there are some things you should avoid after having a wisdom tooth extraction. 

Things to Avoid

Although the recovery time from wisdom teeth surgery is usually pretty quick, there are some key things to avoid during this time to help speed up the healing process and avoid complications. 

  • Chewing

Of course, you need to eat while you’re recovering, but you do need to be careful about what you eat. Your dentist in Manassas would recommend that you avoid hard, sticky foods during the first 72 hours. 

  • Activity

One of the best ways to promote healing is to rest. Avoid doing any strenuous physical activity for three days following surgery. Doing too much too soon can make bleeding, swelling, and pain worse. 

  • Smoking 

Ingredients in cigarettes and cigars are certainly cause for concern, especially after surgery, but the action of dragging on a cigarette can be even more problematic. Pulling in air from a cigarette, or even a straw, can loosen the blood clots protecting and sealing the surgical sites. If those blood clots are dislodged too early, it can lead to a painful condition known as dry socket. 

Signs of a Problem

Many wisdom teeth extractions occur without any problems, but the risk for complications doesn’t go away completely. Here are some signs that require a call to your dentist or oral surgeon. 

  • Excessive pain, bleeding, or swelling after three days
  • Pus coming out of the surgical site or nose
  • A fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Facial numbness

What Should You Do After Surgery? 

We’ve covered some of the things you shouldn’t do while recovering from having your wisdom teeth taken out, now let’s talk about something you should do. 

  • Ice Often

Ice is one of the best ways to reduce swelling and ease pain. Apply a cold compress to the affected and keep the area cold. However, make sure to have a thin barrier between the ice pack and your skin. 

  • Clean the Area

Your dentist may provide or recommend that you use a mouthwash during recovery in order to keep the area clean. Use it, but use it gently. Swishing slowly and softly will clean the areas without the risk of damage.

  • Take Medications

Antibiotics and pain medication may be prescribed after your treatment. Take these as recommended as they can help with both preventing infection and easing pain during your recovery. 

Not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, but most people will. Make sure to see your dentist in Manassas regularly and report any symptoms of wisdom tooth pain at that time. If it’s recommended that you have your wisdom teeth extracted, always feel free to ask questions so you feel confident in the procedure and healing time. 

We have dental offices across Northern Virginia, including in Manassas, Reston, Gainesville, Fairfax, and Herndon. Call the dentist closest to you to schedule an appointment today!