Wisdom teeth removal is a very common dental procedure that virtually everyone must suffer through at some point in their lives. However, the suffering part doesn’t have to be that bad. Albeit, there will be pain — but there are several ways to mitigate that pain. Read on to learn how to reduce wisdom tooth pain after your upcoming surgery.
How to Reduce Wisdom Tooth Pain
It’s true — there’s no escaping the discomfort caused by the swelling and irritation that happens after your wisdom teeth are yanked. However, the aftermath of the surgery is nothing compared to the bacterial infections, cysts, and bone, nerve or tissue damage that can occur from not removing your wisdom teeth. The most important thing you can do to ensure your wisdom teeth heal up quickly post-surgery (which equals less time spent with discomfort) is to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions to the letter. Of course, you’ll also want to do the following to ease the pain substantially:
Use an Ice Pack 🧊
Wisdom tooth extractions tend to cause a whole lot of swelling and pain. Applying ice to the area (externally, of course) will help reduce inflammation significantly. You can use an ice pack, ice cubes wrapped in a towel or ziplock bag, frozen meat, or frozen veggies for this — dealer’s choice. Cold compresses work just as well, and you’ll want to ice your face for up to twenty minutes at a time. This method will work best if carried out within 36 hours of your wisdom tooth extraction.
A Warm Salt Water Rinse 🥛
The saltwater rinse is a tried-and-true remedy for many oral ailments, and that includes wisdom tooth removal. Salt water helps ease inflammation, kills bacteria, and can help you maintain the pH balance of your mouth, which prevents further bacterial growth at your wisdom teeth extraction site. All you have to do is stir about two tablespoons into one cup of warm water and stir until the salt has dissolved. Very slowly, swish the rinse in your mouth, counting to 12 before spitting it out gently in the sink. Keep in mind that you don’t want to forcefully dislodge the blood clot that forms in the socket as it could cause more bleeding and lead to infection, so be as gentle as possible (the blood clots will dislodge over time when the extraction site heals).
Take Pain Killers 💊
For more immediate relief, you’ll want to take painkillers. Your dentist will likely prescribe painkillers for your post-extraction recovery, but if you’d prefer not to take prescription painkillers, you always opt to take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Of course, OTC painkillers may not be strong enough for extreme wisdom teeth pain, so it’s a good idea to have your prescription painkillers on standby. You’ll also want to be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and per your dentist or pharmacist.
Eat the Right Foods 🍴
Eating the right foods and drinking the right beverages will also help to relieve your wisdom teeth removal pain. The right foods will also help you heal quicker and ensure you’re sustained throughout the recovery period. Here are a few things you can eat and drink after wisdom teeth removal:
- Mashed potatoes
- Mashed or softened vegetables
- Scrambled eggs
- Ice cream, sorbet, or milkshakes (because you deserve it)
- Ginger Ale
- Lots of water!
Here’s what to stay away from:
- Spicy food
- Chewy foods
- Acidic food
- Grains and seeds
- Hard foods
- Smoking and tobacco products
- Drinking with a straw
Eating the wrong foods can end up causing you a lot of unnecessary wisdom teeth pain, including dry sockets if you dislodge the blood clot at the extraction site.
Rest Up 💤
Getting a lot of rest is essential to healing post-surgery. It’s especially essential to mitigating your wisdom teeth pain, which is why you’ll be advised to take it easy for up to 36 hours after the procedure. If you have work, make sure to take a few days off so you can give your body a chance to heal. This is especially important if your workplace is demanding and requires a lot of talking and movement, as those are two things that will put a strain on the extraction site and delay healing.
Other Tips for Speedy Wisdom Teeth Recovery and Pain Relief
While you’ll want to get a lot of rest and use the above ways to minimize your wisdom tooth pain, your dentist will likely recommend the following to ensure you heal properly:
- Avoid strenuous activity. Aside from work, this means taking a few days off from exercising and housework
- Use an extra pillow at night to support your head. This will help to further reduce the swelling
- Avoid hot beverages as they can dislodge the blood clots that form in the sockets during the healing process.
- Avoid poking at the extraction site with your tongue
- Aside from doing salt water rinses, avoid spitting
- Avoid blowing your nose
- Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the wisdom teeth were removed
- Don’t rinse your mouth for 24 hours post-tooth removal
- Make sure you have a buddy to drive you home!
Choose the Right Dental Professional for Your Surgery
Wisdom tooth pain isn’t fun for anyone. As long as you follow the above tips, however, you’ll be able to minimize that pain significantly and heal up much quicker. Additionally, one of the best ways to minimize your suffering after surgery is by having your wisdom teeth extracted by an experienced and professional dentist! Wayzata Dental focuses on minimally invasive treatments that take the pain and suffering out of everything from routine check-ups to extractions and more. Book your appointment with us today for better dental care minus the pain and buzzing.