Managing Pain and Discomfort After Wisdom Teeth Removal: Tips and Remedies

Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure to address potential problems associated with impacted or poorly positioned wisdom teeth. These third molars, which usually erupt during the late teenage years or early twenties, often require removal to prevent pain, infection, and other complications.

What To Expect from Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?

Before diving into post-operative care, let’s briefly understand what happens before and during the wisdom teeth removal surgery.

Before the Surgery

  • Consultation: You will initially consult your dentist or oral surgeon to assess your wisdom teeth’ condition. They may suggest X-rays or scans to evaluate the position and alignment of the teeth and determine if an extraction is needed.
  • Pre-operative instructions: Once it’s decided that your wisdom teeth need an extraction, your dental professional will provide pre-operative instructions. This may include fasting requirements if you are undergoing general anaesthesia or sedation. You must follow these instructions to ensure the procedure is carried out smoothly.

During the Surgery

The procedure of wisdom teeth extraction involves the following steps:

  • Anaesthesia: You will be given local anaesthesia, sedation, or general anaesthesia to ensure a painless experience. The option chosen for you will depend on the complexity of your case and your comfort level.
  • Incision and Extraction: If necessary, the dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue and remove the wisdom teeth. At times, the teeth are crushed into smaller pieces for easy removal.
  • Stitching: After the extraction, the surgeon may close the incision with dissolvable stitches, eliminating the need for suture removal.

The Wisdom Teeth Extraction Recovery Timeline

While individual experiences may vary, here’s a general guideline of what to expect:

  • First 24-48 hours: Swelling and discomfort are typically at their peak.
  • Two to three days: Swelling gradually starts to subside, and any bleeding should be minimal or stopped.
  • One week: The swelling should subside by now. For any residual discomfort, you may use an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • One to two weeks: The extraction site begins to heal, and you should start feeling more comfortable. However, complete healing may take several weeks or even months.

Self-Care Advice for a Smooth Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery

  • Take pain medication: Following your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions, take any prescribed pain medication as directed. These medications can help manage pain effectively, especially in the first few days after the surgery. Follow the recommended dosage and frequency to achieve optimal pain relief.
  • Apply a cold compress: To numb the area and reduce the swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek near the extraction sites. You may wrap ice cubes in a thin cloth and apply it at 15-minute intervals. This can help minimise swelling and provide temporary relief from discomfort.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers: In case of mild to moderate pain, you may use over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin or diclofenac. Always follow the recommended dosage and consult your dentist or pharmacist for any concerns or medical conditions.
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene: While being gentle around the extraction sites is essential, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for preventing infections and promoting healing. Rinse your mouth with saltwater solution after 24 hours. Avoid using mouthwash or vigorously brushing the extraction sites to prevent irritation.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated but avoid using a straw as the suction can dislodge blood clots and hinder healing. Instead, sip water or other hydrating beverages directly from a cup.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol: Smoking and alcohol can affect healing and increase the risk of complications. It is advisable to abstain from smoking and avoid alcoholic beverages during recovery to promote optimal healing.
  • Keep your head elevated: Elevating your head with an extra pillow or sleeping slightly upright can help reduce swelling and discomfort. This position allows proper blood circulation and reduces pressure on the surgical areas.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Engaging in relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can help manage pain and reduce anxiety during recovery. Relaxation techniques promote a sense of calmness and overall well-being.
  • Follow post-operative instructions: Lastly, follow all post-operative instructions from your dentist or oral surgeon. Attend follow-up appointments as scheduled to ensure proper healing and address any concerns you may have.

What To Eat and What to Avoid After the Extraction?

After wisdom teeth extraction, following a diet that promotes healing and minimises discomfort is essential. Here are some general recommendations on what to eat and what to avoid:

What to eat:

  • Soft foods: Stick to a diet of soft, easy-to-chew foods for the first few days after surgery. You may include yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, smoothies, and pureed soups in your diet.
  • Cold foods: Ice cream, popsicles, and chilled yogurt can help soothe the surgical site and reduce swelling.
  • Protein-rich foods: Add protein-rich food to your diet, like soft-cooked eggs, mashed beans, tofu, and protein shakes to aid healing.
  • Nutrient-rich foods: Eat plenty of soft and easy-to-chew fruits and vegetables. Examples include cooked vegetables, avocados, ripe bananas, and fruit smoothies.
  • Hydrating beverages: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. However, refrain from using straws, as the suction can dislodge blood clots and impede healing.

What to avoid:

  • Hard and crunchy foods: Avoid hard or crunchy foods that irritate the surgical site or get stuck in the extraction sockets. This includes nuts, chips, seeds, and hard candies.
  • Spicy or acidic foods: These foods can cause discomfort and may irritate the extraction sites. Avoid foods like hot sauces, citrus fruits, and tomato-based products.
  • Chewy or sticky foods: Foods that are chewy or sticky can be challenging to clean from the extraction site and may increase the risk of infection. Avoid foods like caramel, chewing gum, and gummy candies.
  • Hot foods and beverages: Avoid hot foods and drinks for the first few days, as they can increase blood flow to the area and potentially prolong the bleeding.
  • Alcohol and carbonated beverages: Refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages and carbonated drinks, as they can interfere with healing and may cause discomfort.

It’s essential to follow the specific instructions and dietary recommendations provided by your dentist or oral surgeon, as individual cases may vary. They will provide guidance tailored to your needs and healing process.

Managing pain and discomfort after wisdom teeth removal is crucial for a smooth recovery. Following the tips and remedies discussed in this blog can alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and promote optimal healing. Remember, if you have any concerns or experience complications during the recovery period, it’s essential to consult your dentist for professional advice and appropriate treatment. With care and attention, you can soon be on your way to a pain-free and healthy recovery.

To get your problematic wisdom teeth extracted by the experts, call us at 1300 025 113. Book a consultation with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Way to Relieve Pain from Wisdom Teeth Removal?

To relieve pain from wisdom teeth removal, consider the following effective strategies:

  • Take pain medication: Follow your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s instructions and take the prescribed pain medication as directed. This can help manage pain effectively during the initial stages of recovery.
  • Apply ice packs or cold compresses: Place a cold compress outside your cheek near the extraction sites to numb the area for temporarily relieve the pain.
  • Get plenty of rest: Resting and avoiding strenuous activities can help your body heal faster and reduce discomfort.
How Long Do Pain and Discomfort Last After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

The duration of pain and discomfort after wisdom tooth extraction can vary from person to person. Typically, the initial post-operative pain and discomfort peak within the first 24 to 48

hours after the extraction. However, it is common for some level of discomfort to persist for about a week or two following the procedure.

During the first few days, you may experience swelling, soreness, and difficulty opening your mouth fully. These symptoms gradually improve as the healing process progresses. Following your dentist or oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions minimises discomfort and promotes healing. You may return to your normal routine on the next day of an extraction.

How Do You Stop Sensitive Teeth Pain After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Various factors, such as exposed dentin, nerve sensitivity, or inflammation, can cause sensitive tooth pain after wisdom tooth removal. Here are some steps you can take to alleviate sensitive teeth pain:

Use a desensitising toothpaste: Switch to a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain compounds that help block pain signals and reduce sensitivity.

Avoid hot and cold foods: Avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages, as they can trigger sensitivity. Opt for lukewarm or room-temperature foods and drinks instead.

Limit acidic foods and drinks: Acidic substances can worsen tooth sensitivity. Avoid or minimise consumption of acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, and vinegar-based products.

Avoid excessive pressure while brushing: Apply gentle pressure when brushing your teeth. Aggressive brushing can cause gum recession and expose sensitive tooth surfaces.

Use a fluoride gel or rinse: Ask your dentist about a fluoride gel or rinse to help strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.

Does Removing Wisdom Teeth Change Face Shape?

The removal of wisdom teeth typically does not change the overall shape of a person’s face. However, in some cases, impacted or poorly positioned wisdom teeth can contribute to facial changes or discomfort. Suppose you have concerns about changes in your facial appearance after wisdom tooth removal. In that case, it’s best to speak to your oral surgeon or dentist, who will offer specific guidance based on your unique circumstances.

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Painful?

The experience of pain during wisdom teeth removal can vary from person to person. The procedure is typically performed under local anaesthesia, meaning you should not feel any pain during the surgery. However, you may experience some pressure or discomfort as the tooth is extracted or if additional measures, such as bone removal, are necessary.

After the anaesthesia wears off, it is common to experience some pain or discomfort in the days following the procedure. The pain level may vary depending on the extraction’s complexity, complications, and individual pain tolerance.