If you’re scheduled to have your wisdom teeth removed, your dentist will likely give you instructions on what to eat and drink after the surgery. It’s important to follow these guidelines so that your wound can heal properly, minimizing your risk of infection.
In this blog post, we’ll go over the types of food and drinks you should avoid after wisdom teeth removal. We’ll also provide you with a list of foods to eat to ensure a smooth recovery.
When Do You Need Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Wisdom teeth typically erupt during the late teens or early twenties. For some people, wisdom teeth come in without any problems. As such, there is no pressing need to have them removed.
There are a few different reasons why wisdom teeth may need to be extracted. Here are some of them:
They Become Impacted.
One reason for removal is not having enough room in the mouth for the wisdom tooth to come in properly. When this happens, it can become impacted, meaning it gets stuck inside and cannot erupt through the gums.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause swelling, pain, and other dental issues.
They May Cause Teeth Crowding.
Another reason why wisdom teeth may need to be extracted is that they come in at an angle, putting pressure on the adjacent teeth. This pressure can crowd other teeth resulting in crookedness that may require orthodontic treatment.
They Damage Nearby Teeth.
Wisdom teeth can cause harm or increase the risk of infection if they press against the second molar. This can cause pain and make it difficult to brush and floss properly, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Wisdom teeth may also need to be extracted if they are decayed or infected.
They Cause Cyst Formation.
The wisdom tooth develops in a sac inside the jawbone. A cyst may form when the sac fills with fluid, which can damage the nerves, jawbone, and teeth. Sometimes, a non-cancerous tumour may develop. The problem may require the extraction of bone and tissue.
How Do Dentists Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure usually performed by a qualified dentist in a dental clinic. The wisdom teeth removal process is generally quick and straightforward. In most cases, wisdom teeth removal is completed within 30 minutes to one hour.
The wisdom teeth removal procedure is as follows:
- The dentist will numb the area around the wisdom tooth using an anaesthetic.
- An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the wisdom tooth and bone.
- Once the wisdom tooth is exposed, the dentist will remove it using a dental drill or other tools. The wisdom tooth is removed in pieces. The dentist may need to remove some of the bone surrounding the wisdom tooth to extract it.
- The dentist will close the incision with stitches and place a gauze pad over it to control bleeding.
Are There Possible Complications After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Wisdom teeth removal is a fairly common and typically safe surgical procedure. However, as with any surgery, there are always potential risks and complications.
The most common complications after surgery include bleeding, swelling, and pain. While these side effects are typically minor and easily treatable, more serious complications occasionally occur. These include:
Damage to Surrounding Teeth
Sometimes, the removal of a wisdom tooth can cause damage to the adjacent tooth because the wisdom tooth may be too close to the roots of the adjacent tooth. In some cases, the wisdom tooth may be fused to the adjacent molar, making it difficult to remove without harming the other tooth.
Another common complication of wisdom teeth removal is delayed wound healing. If the wound left after the removal is not maintained and cleaned well, healing can be delayed. This can lead to infection, which can also further delay healing.
A dry socket may develop after wisdom tooth surgery. This occurs when the blood clot that forms in the empty socket following surgery is dislodged or dissolves, exposing the bone and nerve. A dry socket is a painful condition that can prolong healing time.
Wisdom teeth surgery carries a small risk of damage to the nerves that provide sensation to the lower lip and chin. This occurs because the teeth are located close to the nerves that run through your jaw.
This damage is usually temporary and resolves on its own within a few weeks or months. In rare cases, however, nerve damage can be permanent.
Risk of Infection
Infection is another potential complication of wisdom teeth removal. Infections typically occur when bacteria enter the wound left behind after the removal of the wisdom tooth.
Because of these possible complications, wisdom teeth removal should only be performed by a qualified dental professional. When done correctly, wisdom teeth removal is a safe and effective way to improve oral health. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks before undergoing any dental procedure.
How Long is the Recovery Period After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
The recovery period for wisdom teeth removal is different for everyone. It all depends on the surgery and how well you take care of yourself afterwards. For most people, wisdom teeth removal is an outpatient procedure. This means you go home the same day. Wisdom teeth removal usually requires only a few days of downtime before returning to your regular routine. The first day or two after wisdom teeth removal may be the most difficult as your mouth adjusts to the wound, and you’re temporarily required to eat soft food only.
Recovery time varies from person to person, but you can expect to feel some soreness and stiffness for a few days to a week. However, some people may have more extensive surgery that requires a longer recovery period. Additionally, individuals who experience complications such as a dry socket or an infection may take longer to recover.
Overall, wisdom teeth removal is a safe and effective procedure with a very low risk of complications. It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for aftercare to ensure a quick and smooth recovery process. With proper care, most people will be back to their normal routine in no time.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Aftercare
Taking care of your mouth after wisdom teeth removal is important for several reasons.
- It helps to promote healing and prevent infection.
- It helps to reduce pain and swelling.
- It helps ensure that the procedure will not cause any complications.
For the first few days after wisdom teeth removal, it’s normal to have some bleeding, swelling, and pain. To help with these symptoms, here are a few aftercare tips::
- Put ice on your face for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. Do this several times a day for the first few days. Be sure to wrap the ice in a thin cloth so that you don’t experience iceburn on your skin.
- Take pain medicine as needed. Over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve pain and swelling. However, be sure to take it as directed by your dentist or oral surgeon.
- Rinse your mouth with saltwater solution several times a day. This will help to clean the area and promote healing.
- Eat soft foods for the first few days after wisdom teeth removal.
- Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that irritate your gums or cause bleeding.
- Brush your teeth carefully but avoid the wisdom tooth extraction area for at least 24 hours.
After 24 hours, you can start brushing the area gently after each meal to remove any food debris or plaque.
If you have wisdom teeth removed, it’s important to take good care of your mouth after the procedure. By following these wisdom teeth removal aftercare tips, you can help ensure a quick and complication-free recovery.
One of the most common questions patients ask following wisdom teeth extraction is what foods they should avoid.
To promote healing and prevent infection, it’s important to stick to soft foods for the first few days after surgery. This means no crunchy, chewy, or sticky solid food that could potentially dislodge the blood clot that forms at the extraction site.
Below are some specific foods to avoid following wisdom teeth extraction:
- Hard bread: bagels, rolls
- Raw fruits and vegetables: apples, carrots, celery
- Chewy foods: pizzas, gum, chocolate bars, caramels
- Spicy foods: salsa, chilli peppers, curry, horseradish, hot peppers
- Hot foods and beverages: coffee, tea, hot soup
- Crunchy foods and those that can get stuck in between teeth: nuts, popcorn, chips, seeds, crackers
- Acidic foods: grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, tomatoes, acidic juices
- Alcoholic beverages: vodka, whiskey, beer, rum
- Carbonated beverage: soft drinks, carbonated wine, sparkling water
You should also avoid drinking from a straw for at least 24 hours after surgery, as the suction can cause the blood clot to come loose. If you have any questions about what food to avoid following your wisdom teeth extraction, be sure to ask your dentist.
List of Food to Eat After Wisdom Tooth Removal
Between the pain and swelling in your mouth, you are likely feeling pretty down after getting your wisdom teeth pulled. While it is important to give your body time to heal properly, there are certain foods you can eat to make the healing process a bit easier.
Here’s a list of nutritious foods to add to your menu after wisdom teeth removal.
- Soft fruits: avocado, mashed bananas, ripe papaya, peaches
- Vegetables: cooked or pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, spinach, green beans, peas, applesauce
- Gelatinous desserts: pudding, custard, flan, gelatin, ice cream (without nuts or chocolate chunks)
- Probiotics: yogurt, kefir
- Soups and sauces: broth-based soups, cream soups, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup.
- Flaky fish: canned tuna or salmon (packed in water), tilapia
- Scrambled eggs
Patients must follow a soft diet for at least 72 hours after their wisdom tooth removal. This will give your gums and socket time to heal and prevent further damage. Eating soft and semisoft foods will also help reduce swelling and pain in the days following your oral surgery.
Recovery from wisdom teeth removal surgery can take some time, but by following the post-operative diet recommendations and avoiding certain foods, you can help ensure a smooth healing process.
At Maylands Dental Centre, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about post-operative care and your other dental concerns. Call us at (08) 9370 5464 today.