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Wisdom teeth removal aftercare

Wisdom teeth removal aftercare

Overview: What does aftercare mean?

Etymologically aftercare means taking care of a man, animal, or plant after it has been physically or environmentally impacted. In medical science, it implies extending proper care and help extended to a patient after the release from the hospital or clinic or after the treatment by the physician at home. Aftercare services rendered by the family members or domestic servants include preparing and feeding healthy diets (foods, fruits, drinks) as well as medication of the right dose/amount at the right time on a regular basis as prescribed by the physician. Although in most of the cases the patient himself is able to perform all the aftercare services, even then it is the moral obligation of the family members to help him in feeding, nursing, sleeping,  medication, and calling a physician at home if needed. Additionally, for the family members, while behaving with the patients, softness, and clemency is indispensable which has a soothing psychological impact on the pains and sufferings of the patients

1. Wisdom teeth removal aftercare

Avoid exercise and hard work for a few days after wisdom tooth removal. Use an extra pillow when sleeping at night. Usually, home care services following wisdom teeth extraction are minimal. Hence aftercare instructions are few. Common sense will often dictate when and what one should do.

1.1) Aftercare instructions on the 1st day (following wisdom tooth removal)

1.1.1) Gauze pack:

gauze after tooth extraction

Following wisdom tooth extraction 1ST hour on the 1st day is quite important. One needs to bite off and grasp food gently, but firmly on the gauze pack making sure that the gauze is not displaced. (In medical dressing gauze is generally made of cotton. It is especially used for dressing wounds where other fabrics might stick to the wound). After wisdom tooth extraction it is advised not to remove the gauze at least for the 1st hour until the bleeding is controlled. After an hour if the bleeding stops, the gauze may be gently removed.  If active bleeding persists, then it is essential to place a new gauze to exert pressure on the wounded site for an additional half an hour. If necessary, the gauze can be changed every 30—45 minutes.

Additionally, it needs to moisten the gauze with tap water and loosely fluff for more comfortable positioning. To support the intensive care on the 1st day, It is further advised not to disturb the wounded area by forced spit, use of straw for drinks, or use of tooth prick after meals or probe the wounded area with any object which is absolutely detrimental to the healing procedure. Over and above no hard or hot foods and drinks should be taken and in addition, no crunchy, crumbly, or sticky foods and sweets should be grasped to chew or suck, lest it should delay the recovery process.

Q: Do I sleep with gauze after tooth extraction?

Ans: Residual bleeding may occur up to 24 hours after tooth extraction. It is advisable to use an old pillow cover so that none of your clothes get damaged. Remove the yard before you eat. Do not sleep with a yard in the face.

1.1.2) Oozing after tooth extraction

Intermittent bleeding or oozing is inevitable after surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is quite common after dental surgery. Also, slight oozing after eating can normally appear after wisdom tooth extraction.

1.1.3) Persistent Bleeding after wisdom teeth removal

Your bleeding should stop within 4 hours of surgery. Post tooth extraction bleeding is usually not severe and is considered quite normal for the 1st 36 hours. If bleeding persists heavily then as a part of aftercare nursing a tea bag (soaked in very hot water and then squeezed to be damp-dried and wrapped in a  moist gauze) may be applied for 20—30 minutes. If bleeding still continues unabated, then a dentist may be contacted for help.

1.1.4) After wisdom teeth removal swelling:

When people fail to maintain proper dental hygiene, then bacteria in the mouth form a plaque on the teeth. The bacteria may cause the gum to become inflamed which results in red swollen or bleeding gums.

However, too many, swelling or inflammation is not painful. But in the case of wisdom tooth extraction swelling is quite common. In this case swelling may be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag (filled with frozen vegetables) wrapped in a towel to be firmly applied on the cheek adjacent to the wounded area. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off alternately during the 1st 24 hours after removal of wisdom teeth. In addition, if the medicine is prescribed to heal the swelling, then one needs to be careful to take medicine or just doze in just time and more importantly, to be cautious about whether the medicine prescribed is to be taken before or after the meal.  

1.1.5) After wisdom teeth removal pain:

Tooth extraction is normally accompanied by some degree of pain and discomfort. After the anesthetic impact is gone, the pain will normally start to get severer. As a matter of fact extent of pain, tolerance varies from person to person. Depending on this one may or may not need a pain killer. And in the case of someone, even stronger pain-killing medicine may be needed which often creates the feeling of nausea.

In such a case, it is advised to take at least a small amount of food before taking a painkiller. Again effects of pain medications vary widely from person to person. If adequate pain relief is not achieved even after taking pain killer, then the painkiller may be supplemented by an analgesic, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. In this connection, it needs to be mentioned that extremely severe pain persists only for 6 hours after the anesthetic impact wears off. And then gradually pain declines. So, it is wise to take an as little amount of pain killer as possible.

1.1. 6) Wisdom teeth removal recovery nausea:

Wisdom teeth removal recovery nausea

Nausea and vomiting are common after wisdom tooth removal. It can last up to 4-6 hours. Metaphorically, it means disgust, abhorrence at the sight of something which one does not like.  But in medical science nausea is a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit. The causes of nausea are many. Intense pain after a tooth extraction is one of them. (Among other causes behind nausea are: motion sickness, early  stages of pregnancy, emotional stress, etc.) Sometimes pain medications themselves are the cause of nausea. In such a case, it is well advised to take a small amount of food (before taking a painkiller) followed by a large amount of water.

1.1.7) Wisdom teeth removal aftercare food

Wisdom teeth removal aftercare food

After wisdom tooth extraction, it is wise to eat soft, healthy foods (preferably liquids, such as soups, broths, pudding, milkshakes, yogurt, etc.) which are rich in minerals and proteins that can be eaten and swallowed comfortably without creating any injury to the wounded area. Among fruits, soft watery fruits, such as watermelon, grapes, pineapple are good choices. After a few days when full recovery will be gained, one can shift to solid foods as before. But still, after full recovery, it is recommended to totally avoid the 2 expensive bad habits (smoking and alcohol) which are injurious to health and in addition have no social recognition. 

1.1.8) Wisdom teeth removal aftercare sharp edges

After wisdom tooth removal one may feel a sharp bony wall that was supported by the extracted teeth before. If it causes any irritation then one may consult a physician.

1.2) Aftercare instructions on the 2md and the 3rd day (following wisdom tooth removal):

1.2.1) Saltwater rinse after tooth extraction

Saltwater rinse after tooth extraction

‘Lukewarm saltwater mouthwash rinses’ is an excellent short-term treatment when one has wounds in the mouth in the wake of wisdom tooth extraction. The benefit of salt water rinses is that salt is not only a natural disinfectant, but it also removes away swelling from the tissues. The direction for preparing saltwater for rinse include: using ¼ teaspoonful salt to be dissolved in 8 ounces of lukewarm water. The solution containing salt water needs to be gently rinsed in order that the full glass of solution should be finished within 5 minutes time The mouth rinse needs to be repeated as many times as possible (at least 3 times a day)

1.2.2) After tooth extraction toothbrush

Even in acute illness, regular brushing (and flossing) of the teeth is indispensable that to a considerable extent prevents gum disease and tooth decay. Given the fact that gum disease is a major indicator of heart disease and is greatly responsible for tooth loss at a young age( in addition to creating bad and offensive breath as well as an unattractive smile), one needs to start daily hygienic jobs like toothbrushes as soon as possible after wisdom tooth extraction. But swelling and soreness may not permit vigorous brushing. Still one should brush teeth softly and gently within the bound of comfort and totally leave the wounded area untouched (However, it is better not to brush for the first 24 hours).

1.2.3) Hot or cold compress for tooth extraction

Hot or cold compress for tooth extraction

For the first 24 hours, apply ice packs on the place of extension from the face for 20 minutes and take a break every 10 minutes. After 24 hours over the wounded area including swelling, apply warm compresses (such as hot water bottle, hot moist towels, heating pad) for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off alternately to help soothe tender areas. This will greatly reduce swelling and stiffness.

1.2.4) Healing wisdom teeth removal:

The 1st 2 days after the removal of wisdom teeth are generally the most uncomfortable. On the 3rd day, one will feel more comfortable, although some swelling will exist. It can usually take up to 2 weeks for recovery to occur.

2. Wisdom teeth removal recovery tips

  • Aftercare (following wisdom tooth removal) does not always mean care, support, protection, help, nursing, service, etc to be provided by others among the family members or paid caretaker. Self-help is the best help—runs the old adage. It is safe to minimize dependence on others as much as possible. It may happen that during a particular moment, especially in mid-night or late-night, none is found available for help at once. 
  • During the 1st 36 hours, the patient must remain alert about when and what foods, drinks, and more importantly, medications he is going to take. In the case of medication, a small mistake may invite big trouble. Because an underdose or overdose of medicine, far from curing, will aggravate the sufferings. 
  • It is well-advised to stay calm and easy, listen more, and talk less at least for the 1st 24 hours following wisdom tooth extraction. The more one talks, the more one moves his mouth including tongue, lips, and jaws along with teeth which will put unnecessary stress on the wounded area.
  • While napping or sleeping, one may prop up the head with 2—3 pillows which will help one feel easy and comfortable. 
  • If one gets scheduled for wisdom tooth extraction in the clinic or hospital, then he will find many like him (in the clinic/ hospital) who have already done the needful. Their experiences will be a  great help for aftercare (following wisdom tooth removal) 
  • If antibiotics are prescribed for healing the wound (following wisdom tooth removal), it is strictly advised to continue until the full course is complete, even if infections are gone much earlier.

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