If you’ve recently been told you need your wisdom teeth removed or have recently had them removed, you may be wondering how long it will take you to recover. The short answer is that it depends on the complexity of the surgery, the condition of your wisdom teeth, and their positioning. Most individuals recover within four days, but it can take as long as 14 days before your gums have fully healed.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Time
Your wisdom teeth are your third molars. They are located in the very back of your mouth and are not needed for chewing food. Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed. Some individuals have difficulty cleaning that far back in their mouths or their teeth do not erupt properly. For these individuals, our oral surgeons at Sunrise Facial and Oral Surgery in Melbourne and Rockledge, FL recommend extracting the wisdom tooth.
On the day of your wisdom tooth removal, you’ll be given pain medications and anesthesia to help limit the amount of discomfort you feel during and immediately after the surgery. Our oral surgeon will also prescribe pain medications and give you after-surgery care instructions once you are ready to go home.
The First 24 Hours
Your recovery time starts immediately after the surgery. For the first 24 hours, you will want to eat soft foods, avoid using straws, chewing gum, using tobacco, and drinking alcohol. Doing these things could dislodge the blood clots and could result in a dry socket. During this time, it is important not to rinse your mouth with anything. If you have any swelling, you’ll want to apply ice packs to the side of your face. If you have any pain, you’ll want to take your pain medications as directed by our oral surgeon.
24 to 72 Hours After Removal
After the first 24 hours of your wisdom tooth removal, you can begin rinsing your mouth with one cup of water and half a teaspoon of salt. This helps clean your mouth and reduces the risk of infection at the surgery sites. You’ll still want to maintain your soft food diet, avoid using straws, and consuming tobacco or alcohol. After the first 72 hours, you should start feeling better. Any swelling should start to subside and your pain will slowly lessen. However, if you notice an increase in your pain or discharge from the surgical sites, you’ll need to contact our dentist for further instructions.
Seven Days After Removal
Our oral surgeon may schedule a follow-up appointment seven days after your surgery. This is to check the surgical sites in order to ensure they are healing properly. If our surgeon did not use dissolvable stitches, your stitches may be removed at this time.
10 Days After Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery
Jaw stiffness and soreness should be mostly or entirely gone 10 days after your wisdom tooth extraction surgery. You should be eating your normal diet with few restrictions.
14 Days After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Your gums should be fully healed at this point. However, If you experienced complications, like an infection or dry socket, your gums may still need another week. During this time, you’ll still be able to feel the edges of the socket with your tongue. This is because your jaw bone has not fully healed and may take as long as three to six months before the bone is fully healed.
Determining If You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Our board-certified oral surgeon, Dr. Schmid recommends that individuals get their wisdom teeth examined as soon as they start to erupt, or around the age of 16. If your wisdom teeth are crooked, impacted, or only partially erupted, they will need to be removed so they do not cause complications in the future.
Once our oral surgeons remove your wisdom teeth, you will be given a set of aftercare instructions that will tell you what to expect while you recover. These instructions will also include certain signs to look out for that may indicate a complication such as pain, puss, or a bad taste in your mouth
To learn more about wisdom tooth removal and to schedule an appointment to see if you need your wisdom teeth extracted, call our Melbourne office at 321-725-5377 or our Rockledge office at 321-255-7724.