Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

3 Ways to Care for Your Mouth After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

by Brett Clark

Tooth extractions are usually recommended as a last resort for patients whose teeth can't be saved. But there are many different reasons dentists may recommend this surgical dental procedure. One of them is wisdom tooth removal to prevent future dental problems or improve oral health. 

The pain, swelling and discomfort from undergoing tooth extraction is all part of the normal course of healing and recovery. After all, a wound is left behind after a tooth has been pulled from its socket. Fortunately, there are ways to improve wound healing post-surgery. 

Here are five oral care tips to allow a smooth and fast healing process after wisdom tooth removal. 

1. Don't skimp on brushing

After tooth extraction, the wound is usually left open to heal. This exposes the socket of the tooth and surrounding gums and tissue to the risk of infection. Keeping your mouth clean is vital for minimising build-up of bacterial plaque, but also ensuring fresh breath. Proper oral hygiene will also prevent throat irritation.

Although your mouth will feel painful and sore following tooth extraction, it's important to brush your teeth as you would normally but trying not to prick the wounded area. Don't use mouth rinses until blood clot formation has occurred. This will interfere with the natural course of wound healing. 

2. Watch your diet

What you eat or drink after teeth removal plays a huge part in the healing process. But wait until the numbness from surgical anaesthesia has gone away before you can ingest anything. This will help prevent accidental biting of your cheek, tongue or lips.

Stick to a liquid diet immediately after surgery. This may include soups, juices and shakes. Avoid using straws for the first few days because it may dislodge the blood clot forming where you've had a tooth pulled.

As healing progresses, gradually add solid foods to your diet, starting with softer foods, such as mashed potatoes, cheese and pudding. Stay away from hard, crunchy or hot foods.

3. Get plenty of rest

Getting as much rest as possible is vital for a speedy recovery after tooth removal. Minimise movements and activities that may increase pain and slow you down even further. Relax in your recliner chair with your head slightly elevated. If you don't have a recliner chair, an extra pillow can get this done.

If you don't see any progress in healing after wisdom teeth removal, arrange to see your dentist immediately.