Getting a wisdom tooth removed? 3 Things to Know First

Posted on: 23 March 2016

Wisdom teeth are third molars that you might have erupt through the gums. Since these teeth are not necessary and often cause issues like infections and disruption of your other teeth, your dentist might recommend having them extracted. The following things are important to understand about this type of dental surgery.

You Can't Brush the First Day

While keeping your mouth clean is going to be an integral part of your wisdom tooth extraction, you need to be extra careful the first day. After returning home, make sure you leave the area alone as much as possible. This means not even brushing your teeth for the first day following the extraction. Brushing puts you at risk for dislodging the blood clot, not to mention the fact that it can be painful. You also don't want to rinse your mouth with anything the first day, unless your oral surgeon has specifically instructed you to do so. If your mouth feels dirty, you can wipe the inside of the opposite cheek and wipe around your tongue with a wet cloth.

Avoid Using a Straw

You might be tempted to use a straw when drinking after a tooth extraction, but that is one of the worst things you can do. When you use a straw, the sucking motion puts you at risk of dislodging the blood clot. This blood clot forms after an extraction to protect the area from the bone being exposed to the air and debris. If the blood clot comes out, you will feel it almost immediately as it causes a condition called dry socket. This is extremely painful, so you definitely won't miss it. In addition to not using a straw, you should also avoid smoking cigarettes.

You Should Take Your Pain Reliever Immediately

When you get your wisdom teeth extracted, you will have anesthesia that prevents pain. It is important that you start taking the pain relievers prescribed to you before this anesthesia wears off. If you wait too long, managing the pain from the extraction can be more difficult. You may find it easier to control the pain when you already have the pain reliever in your system by the time the anesthesia starts to wear off and you experience full feeling in that area. If you are someone that is more sensitive to pain, let the oral surgeon know beforehand. They should be able to prescribe you something a little stronger. However, make sure you only take your medications as directed.