Do’s and Don’ts to Enhance Recovery After Oral Surgery

Recovery After Oral SurgeryWith great advances in dentistry, many oral surgery procedures, like dental implants and extractions tend to be fairly simple and painless. But after the surgery, the site of operation usually feels tender for a few days, which can be easily addressed with over-the-counter pain relief medications. However, avoid taking aspirin immediately after the surgery because it thins blood and can cause your mouth to bleed.

Here are some other steps to help boost your recovery after oral surgery.



• Follow dentist/surgeon recommendations strictly – If you have been prescribed a specific painkiller or other medication to take after the procedure, take it at the recommended times and intervals. This is necessary to manage pain and prevent infections.
• Get enough rest – Rest promotes speedy recovery. It is recommended that you don’t do anything for the rest of the day after a procedure. Depending on the type of surgery, you can resume light tasks the following day.
• Swelling is normal after oral surgery. It can increase for 2 to 3 days, but then it starts going down. To reduce the swelling, avoid any movement for 8-12 hours after the surgery.
• To help lessen swelling, you can start applying cold packs or ice to the side of your face, over the surgery site, holding the pack for 15 minutes and removing it for another 15 minutes. You can do this as often as you like for the rest of the day after surgery. After that, it won’t be as effective.
• Some bleeding or oozing can be expected for the first 12 – 24 hours after surgery. You should bite on the sponge given to you after surgery for at least one hour. If you’re bleeding a lot, place clean, damp gauze over the bleeding area and press it firmly for 20 minutes so no blood escapes. Repeat if necessary.
• For the first 2 days after surgery, only consume liquids and soft foods. Things like yogurt, eggs, cheese, cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, smooth soups, pudding, protein shakes, fried beans, and fruit smoothies are okay.
• Continue with soft foods that don’t require much chewing for the rest of the week – rice, macaroni, noodles, etc. and avoid hot, spicy, hard, crunchy, or acidic foods.


• Do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for 24 hours after the procedure. After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with warm salt water after meals. Brush your teeth carefully as instructed by your surgeon/dentist.
• Do not use straws for 48 hours
• Do not blow your nose. Wipe it instead, and sneeze with your mouth open for at least 48 hours
• Do not drink or smoke for 48 hours
If you notice anything unusual about your recovery, like excess swelling, pain, or bleeding, contact your dentist or surgeon immediately.


Wednesday Wisdom: Where Did the “Wisdom” in Wisdom Teeth Originate?

origin of wisdom teethThe third and last set of molars was known as “teeth of wisdom” from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century, when their name changed to “wisdom teeth”. Linguists suggest that they’re referred as wisdom teeth because they appear much later than the other teeth, when a person matures into adulthood, usually between the ages of 17 and 25 years. Basically, they appear at an age when the person is “wiser” compared to when the other teeth erupted.
Teenager Wisdom
Scientific studies have accentuated the idea that the third molars do, indeed, develop and erupt when the person is wiser. Recent studies revealed that the human brain continues to develop right through adolescence. In fact, many researchers believe that the brain reaches full maturity at the age of 25. This supports the assumption of the ancestors that the eruption of the third molars signified the end of the carefree attitude of childhood, as the individual welcomed the responsibilities of adulthood.
Role of Wisdom Teeth
Science suggests that wisdom teeth were extremely useful in the past, but as human diet changed, their relevance progressively subsided. Human evolution changed man’s eating habits. In the past, human beings’ diet comprised mainly course foods that caused teeth to wear down or abrade, so considerably that they occupied less jaw space over time.
The food consumed was so tough to chew that the jaw had to work harder, causing it to evolve into a larger bone. These factors, combined with the frequent loss of teeth at an early age, resulted in more oral space for wisdom teeth when they erupted.
Today, foods are easier to chew, and advances in dental care have significantly reduced the incidence of early tooth loss and tooth wear. A higher rate of tooth retention translated to inadequate space in the jaw to accommodate wisdom teeth. The result is impacted, abnormally positioned teeth that cannot fully erupt. In this regard, there are three categories of wisdom teeth:

  • Fully erupted – they are fully developed and properly aligned with the molars
  • Partially erupted – only a portion of the teeth is visible
  • Un-erupted – impacted teeth that remain trapped in the jawbone unable to erupt

The latter two categories have unusual positioning that may make them difficult to clean properly. Food particles left behind convert to plaque that can eventually lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and infections. In some cases, impacted wisdom tooth can form cysts that damage the roots of adjacent, healthy teeth, the nerves, and jawbone.
To avoid dental problems with your wisdom teeth, it is important to schedule regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can help spot possible problems early and treat them before they become a nuisance.
Mint Dentistry offers wisdom tooth removal in Woodland Hills as well as other oral surgery procedures. Please call our office @ (818) 716-0297 if you would like to learn more about wisdom tooth removal & tooth extraction.