How To Minimize Discomfort After Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you are having trouble with your wisdom teeth and are looking to have them removed, you probably already know that you are in for a bit of discomfort. However, if you take the appropriate steps, you can help minimize the pain and discomfort during your recovery time. Follow these tips in order to do just that.

Immediately Following the Surgery

Your dentist will have applied gauze packs that were placed directly over the surgical areas. Gently bite down on those packs to make sure they stay there. You should not change them until the bleeding is under control. If you can't seem to stop the bleeding, place new gauze over the area to add pressure.  You can moisten the gauze for added comfort.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

It's important for you to keep your mouth clean to minimize risk of infection. You can brush your teeth the night of the surgery being very cautious around the surgical site. Saltwater rinses are always a good idea for additional precaution. 

Avoid Strenuous Activity

Your activity immediately after your surgery should be your bed or couch for at least the first day.  It's best to not lift anything or bend over, and increased activity will increase your pain, swelling and bleeding. You may also become light headed if you suddenly stand up. If you are one to exercise daily, know that it's ok to take a day or two off, and you won't be eating much anyway, so no need to worry about your caloric intake. 

Applying Ice 

The affected area will swell after surgery, and it may be a few days before the swelling subsides. Use a cold pack or an ice bag to apply firmly on the cheek. Ideally you'll want to apply the ice for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off for the immediate 24 hours after surgery. Take any prescribed medicine as necessary.

A great way to apply ice is by filling two zip-lock bags with crushed ice, using a soft towel in between the bag and ice for added comfort, and avoiding the plastic bag from sticking to your face. 

Pain Relief

It's inevitable that you will be in a bit of pain in the days immediately following the surgery. The oral surgeon's office, such as Arrowhead Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, should give you a prescription for the pain medication, and it's best to take that medicine before your anesthesia wears off.