Apply heat packs after 24-36 hours to reduce swelling
During the 2-3 days after the operation some swelling is expected. Applying ice packs to the cheeks will not be beneficial after a period of 24-48 hours. Instead, apply hot packs for a period of 10 minutes each 30 minutes to greatly reduce the possibility of swelling.
Ice packs work by constricting the blood vessels which reduces the amount of blood going to the tooth extraction site. Once blood has stopped and clotting has begun, heat pads are much more useful since they open the blood vessels and allow blood to leave to the rest of the body quicker.
Begin rinsing after 24 hours of the procedure
Salt rinses are important to do once the 24 hour period is complete. This provides a safe and effective way of removing any bacteria that could infect the damaged socket. Mix a ¼ of a teaspoon of salt with one cup of water to create the salt water. Your dentist might also prescribe chlorhexidine or another prescription mouthwash to eliminate bacteria near your extraction site to keep it clean.
Do not swish vigorously since it could dislodge the blood clot, simply insert the salt water in your mouth and tilt your head from side to side carefully before opening your mouth and allowing the water to drip out. If you spit out this could cause the blood clot to be removed and it could lead to dry socket.
What is the white tissue on my gums?
White material after a wisdom tooth extraction will begin to form on the gums during this time. This is scar tissue that forms as a result of the damage and it’s a natural response by the body that indicates that healing is occurring as it should be. As the days go by this white tissue might begin to fall off, this is normal. The tissue has served its purpose and it’s discarded by the body with continual salt rinses.
Begin reintroducing soft foods slowly
If your teeth have recovered feel free to eat soft foods such as the ones listed below. It’s important to continue eating foods that don’t require any chewing so as not to irritate the area around the healing area. This will also prevent any food from becoming lodged and will reduce the likelihood of you getting an infection.
Hydration and maintaining a healthy diet are essential during this stage, so make sure you’re consuming an adequate amount of food.
Avoid dry socket
Dry socket most commonly occurs during the first 3-5 days of the procedure, although it is still possible depending on the extraction procedure. Many dentists recommend not sucking on a straw, spitting, or cleaning your teeth vigorously for 7 days after the procedure, since these could cause the blood clot to dislodge.
Go for a postoperative appointment with your dentist
Most people see a major recovery in the 1st week, however, a follow up appointment with your dentist 5-7 days after your procedure is important so they can see how you are healing. They will then check the area and provide instructions for water irrigation or provide these instructions before your surgery.
Swelling in the face and mouth should go down in the coming 3 days with proper use of ice bags/heat pads. If swelling continues to increase after 5 days make sure to contact your dentist.
Bruising can occur in the cheek, eyelids, chin, and neck as a result of the blood loss. This can remain for around 7 to 14 days and should decrease gradually.
Use the water syringe to clean your tooth extraction holes
Water irrigation is important since the hole left by the removed tooth hasn’t healed completely. Gums heal from the bottom up, gradually filling the area with healthy tissue. This means that food particles can get stuck in these holes and could lead to irritation if left inside.
A syringe will be provided to aid in cleaning and you will be instructed on when to use it. To use simply use salt water, prescription mouthwash, or lukewarm water and fill the syringe. Once full, gently place the tip to the side of the extraction site and slowly allow the substance to fill the hole. This will help slowly flush out any food that might have gotten stuck without disturbing the blood clot.