Have you ever seen photos of people whose face resembles a chipmunk? Well, don’t be concerned, because most likely they just got their wisdom teeth removed and are experiencing temporary swelling. For those blessed with properly positioned wisdom teeth and a mouth large enough to accommodate them, wisdom teeth can be an asset. For many, however, wisdom teeth bring more problems than benefits and often must be removed.

Do you need your wisdom teeth removed?

Typically, wisdom teeth develop and appear in your mouth between the ages of 17 and 25. However, all people and their teeth are different, so the growth of your wisdom teeth should be monitored by a dentist to determine if and when the molars should be removed. If your dentist concludes that you do need your wisdom teeth removed, it is best to get them removed as soon as possible. Complications can occur if you wait to get wisdom teeth removed, complications such as impacted wisdom teeth, tooth decay, infection, and tumors or cysts.

What to expect post wisdom teeth removal

1.Expect a little bleeding after the procedure, but don’t be alarmed. Just fold a fresh piece of gauze into a small square, place it over the empty tooth socket or incision, and bite down to apply pressure. The bleeding should subside in about 45 minutes.

2. As with any tooth removal or minor surgery, you can expect some level of pain. Most people find relief with ibuprofen or Tylenol, but your dentist may prescribe something heavier for the first few days. You can wean yourself off of these as the pain subsides.

3. Swelling and bruising can be expected post-surgery, but don’t worry, its only temporary. Use an ice pack as directed by your dentist or surgeon. Any swelling of your cheeks usually improves in two or three days. Bruising may take several more days to resolve.

4. Expect to be on a liquid diet for the first day or so, or at least until the anesthesia wears off. Avoid drinking out of a straw while stitches are still in your mouth. Sucking through a straw can remove your stitches from your incision. When you do resume normal eating, avoid hard or crunchy foods. Mash potatoes and pudding are your friends.

5. And don’t forget to brush your teeth! Just be sure to wait until the bleeding subsides, and avoid the teeth directly adjacent to your former wisdom teeth for the first 24 hours. The next day, resume brushing these teeth as well, but be especially gentile.

 

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