Although extraction of wisdom teeth is considered a relatively routine process, it still qualifies as an operation that usually is performed by an Oral Surgeon. Since wisdom teeth are molars, they leave significant wounds, medically known as sockets. Those wounds need time to heal. Avoiding certain activities will be helpful for speeding recovery and preventing infection.
One of the most important guidelines from an Oral Surgeon is to completely abstain from smoking tobacco or any other substances until your mouth has healed.
First, the empty sockets develop healthy blood clots to stop bleeding. Suction caused by smoking can dislodge those clots and lead to sporadic bleeding. Smoking also increases the risk of a condition known as dry socket, which tends to be very painful.
Second, smoke in the mouth is irritating to sore gums and reduces blood circulation. Those effects can delay the recovery process.
Don’t Use a Straw
Don’t drink beverages with a straw until your mouth has fully healed. As with smoking, using a straw creates suction that can disrupt the blood clots.
Be Gentle During Oral Hygiene
It’s good to gently rinse your mouth a few times a day with warm salt water beginning the day after wisdom teeth extraction. This reduces swelling and inflammation. However, skip the use of commercial mouthwash products. The chemicals in these substances can irritate areas of the mouth that are still tender from the operation.
Brush your teeth, but don’t be heavy-handed. Stay away from the socket areas and avoid vigorous spitting.
Avoid Strenuous Exercise
Engaging in strenuous exercise when your mouth is healing also can dislodge the blood clots. Take it easy until your gums have recovered from the surgery.
Eat Soft Foods
You will probably be instructed to eat a soft diet for a few days, meaning only consuming foods that don’t require much chewing. Macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and ice cream are examples. In addition, avoid foods that can become stuck in the sockets and may be difficult to get out. Examples include popcorn, rice, foods containing ground nuts and foods with seeds. Steer clear of hard, crunchy foods that could hurt sore gums.
Oral surgeons at a facility such as Plainview Oral And Maxillofacial Associates can answer any questions about how to heal rapidly after wisdom teeth extraction.