Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What steps should I take to recover after surgery to remove my wisdom teeth?"
I have a surgery scheduled for next week to remove my wisdom teeth, and I am understandably a bit nervous about it. I need to know how I can recover gracefully from the surgery without either causing more damage or delaying my progress. How soon after the surgery will I be able to eat regularly, brush my teeth and use mouthwash once again? I am also curious as to what foods I should be eating right after surgery as well as how the medication will influence my recovery.
These are all very good questions, and it is normal to be nervous about any kind of medical procedure or surgery. Hopefully you will have a smooth and uneventful recovery from surgery and be back to your normal self in a few days. Everyone is different with surgery and procedures, so the best thing to do is to discuss your concerns with your dentist, who will be able to give you recovery advice. Hopefully you will be one of the ones who has an easy time in recovery. In general, it is normal to expect some pain and swelling following wisdom tooth removal, with the degree related to how difficult it was to remove the teeth. Unfortunately, the surgery involves more manipulation of the gums in some people than others. You should be prescribed some kind of painkiller, likely a mild oral narcotic, and it is a good idea to start taking those as soon as the sedation wears off so you have some pain medication in your system when the anesthesia wears off. It will also be important to use things like icepacks to help keep the swelling down. You will need to talk to your dentist about recommendations about brushing teeth and using mouthwash, but he or she should be able to address these concerns before the surgery. As for foods, you will likely not feel like eating much immediately afterwards, and after that it's best to stick with things that won't bother your stomach and don't require a lot of chewing. Your dentist can assist with recommendations.
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