So you’ve just had your wisdom teeth pulled, your mouth is sore and your friends or family may or may have not already made a viral video of you under anesthetic—what should you be doing next? Whether you’re not internet famous or not, you might be wondering what’s normal and what might be cause for concern after your surgery. If you’re still feeling numbness after your wisdom tooth extraction, and the anesthetic has worn off, is that a cause for worry?
We break down what to do post-surgery and some potential complications you may be experiencing.
Recovering From Surgery
In general, you can expect to fully recover after about three to four days. However, if your teeth were impacted in unusual positions you can expect recovery to take closer to a week. Even though you’ll be okay to east most foods after a week, the wound where your teeth were removed will take several months to fully heal up. Because of this, it’s especially important to maintain proper oral health to avoid dealing with any infections.
In the twenty-four hours after your wisdom teeth were removed you can resume normal daily activities, but avoid any activities that would dislodge or loosen your stitches. These include things like strenuous exercise, spitting, or even drinking from a straw.
Both mild swelling and bleeding are common, so don’t be alarmed if either occurs. However, contact your dentist right away if you experience unbearable pain or excessive bleeding.
How to Recover Faster
Rinsing each day with salt water is a great way to keep your wound clean (even if it does sting a little). Just make sure that after you rinse, you let the water fall from your mouth into the sink, don’t spit it out. Spitting can loosen the clotting.
To get the blood to clot quicker in the wound make sure to replace the gauze as needed either carefully yourself or with the help of a friend or family member.
Experiencing Complications Like Numbness After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Although wisdom tooth removal is usually a straightforward procedure, complications can and do occur. Contact your dentist immediately if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms as they could indicate an infection or nerve damage:
- Numbness or loss of feeling that doesn’t go away
- Excessive bleeding
- A bad taste in your mouth that doesn’t stop after rinsing with saltwater
- Getting a fever
- Swelling that gets worse
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Pus in or oozing from the wound
- Severe pain not relieved by prescribed pain medications
While complications do occur, as long as you catch them early many can be effectively treated, and you can recover properly and quickly.
Wisdom tooth surgery can be scary because of how invasive the surgery is. However, by following the above tips you’ll ensure you heal quickly and get back to doing the things you love with the people that matter to you as quickly as possible.