The large teeth at the back of your mouth, referred to as the wisdom teeth (third molars), usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. Sometimes, there isn’t enough room for the wisdom teeth to move into the correct position, which is called impaction. This can result in pain or an infection. The remedy is to have the teeth removed. What can you expect from the extraction process and what’s the usual timeframe for wisdom tooth recovery? Continue reading to get the answers.
How the Procedure Works
After administering a numbing agent to ensure that you have a painless experience, the dentist will take the following steps:
- Make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone
- Remove the bone that blocks access to the tooth root
- If necessary, divide the tooth into sections to aid in removing it
- Carefully remove the tooth
- Clean the site to remove any leftover debris from the tooth or bone
- Stitch the wound closed to promote healing
- Place a gauze over the extraction site to control bleeding and to help a blood clot form
The Recovery Process
You should expect a gradual recovery from your wisdom tooth extraction. However, as long as the dentist’s instructions are followed, it’s common to see daily improvement.
This is the usual healing timetable:
- First 24 hours – Blood clot formation
- 2 to 3 days – Improvement in any swelling of the mouth and cheeks
- 7 days – Stitch removal
- 7 to 10 days – Decreased jaw stiffness
- 2 weeks – Decreased swelling
To maintain the above timeline, you’ll need to do your part. It’s especially important, during the first 24 hours after surgery, to avoid brushing near the extraction site, rinsing your mouth, drinking hot beverages or eating food that requires chewing or sucking on straws. You’ll also want to abstain from any tobacco usage, as it can cause a serious infection. After the 24-hour period has passed, you may consider gently rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic solution.
How to Accelerate Your Healing
Blood clots will form in the place where the tooth is extracted. If they are removed, you could experience intense bleeding and slower recovery process. To be on the safe side, protect the wound so that the blood clots can perform their natural duties of activating your body’s internal healing mechanisms.
By playing it safe, following the dentist’s instructions and being patient, you’ll soon recover from wisdom teeth extraction in Colorado Springs and be able to return to functioning normally.
About the Author
Dr. Geoff Haradon is a graduate of the University of North Carolina. After earning his degree, he completed a three-year residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he received state-of-the-art training in cutting edge periodontal treatments. A Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontics, Dr. Haradon carefully and safely extracts teeth at Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.