What can I expect after having my wisdom teeth extracted?

Following the removal of your wisdom teeth, you may experience:

  • Swelling and discomfort, which is part of the normal healing process. You can help decrease this by using cold compresses or by taking medication as prescribed by your dentist. You may be instructed to drink only clear liquids after the surgery until you can comfortably begin to eat soft foods.
  • Numbness and tingling in the face or jaw. Normal sensation should return within a few days but if you experience numbness or tingling longer than a few days, consult your dentist.
  • Dry socket. This can occur when the blood clot breaks down sooner than normal. If this happens your dentist may place a special dressing in the tooth's socket to protect it as it heals. Symptoms include a dull ache and foul odor but they may not appear for three or four more days.

Contact your dentist if you notice these symptoms.

Following surgery to have your wisdom teeth extracted, you will need to rest and drink plenty of water. Expect some bleeding as the wound heals; you can rinse with warm salt water after the first 24 hours. In the first day or so, eat soft foods and avoid chewing, spitting, or using a straw.

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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.