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What can I do at home to recover from a wisdom tooth extraction?

Following a wisdom tooth extraction, your dentist will provide you with a detailed post-extraction care regimen. It is important to heed these instructions both for your oral health as well as your comfort. Your dentist will likely provide you with gauze to keep in your mouth on the extraction site in order to help clot the bleeding. For swelling or discomfort, you can use an ice pack. It may be difficult to chew for the first hours and days following the extraction, so introduce liquid and soft foods as you feel up to it. After the first day, you will be asked to rinse with warm or salt water in order to keep the site clean and clear in order to avoid infection or dry socket. 

Should you experienced prolonged discomfort, bleeding or swelling, contact your dentist.

First and foremost, follow the instructions given to you from your dentist or oral surgeon. If necessary, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be taken, but not in addition to any prescription medications that you may have already received unless otherwise directed by your dentist. For the first twenty-four hours, make sure to avoid rinsing, using a straw, or any other activity that might disturb the extraction site. Use ice packs to keep down the swelling. For the first few days after the extraction, your diet should consist of soft foods that will keep you healthy and maintain your strength. Also, remember to drink plenty of water.

There are several things you can do at home to recover from a wisdom tooth extraction. Try taking acetaminophen to relieve post-op pain. Put an ice pack on your cheek to alleviate pain and swelling of your cheeks and jaw. It may be difficult to eat your normal diet at first, so limit yourself to liquids and soft foods, and avoid chewing with the area where teeth were extracted. Be sure to follow your dentist’s or surgeon’s instructions for recovery, and call him or her if you notice any unusual bleeding or if you are experiencing severe pain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.