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Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery: What to Expect

Of all the teeth in your mouth, your wisdom teeth can be the most troublesome. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars located all the way in the back of your mouth. If your wisdom teeth become decayed or impacted, or crowd your other teeth, you may need an extraction.

Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine process that can greatly improve your oral health. Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry performs hundreds of wisdom tooth extractions every year. While wisdom teeth removal recovery does require some downtime and special care, it should go by relatively quickly and painlessly.

When do wisdom teeth need to be removed? 

Wisdom teeth are late bloomers that do not emerge from the gums until age 17 to 25. Not everyone needs to get their wisdom teeth removed, but depending on the size and shape of your mouth, they could cause serious problems. 

You might need your wisdom teeth removed if: 

  • They never fully push through your gums, and become trapped—or “impacted”—in your jawline. This can result in infections and jaw pain, and can damage other teeth or other parts of your mouth. 
  • They grow in at an odd angle and press against your other teeth, causing crowding, shifting, or other damage. 
  • Your mouth is not large enough to accommodate a new set of molars, causing pain and crowding your other teeth. 
  • They are too difficult to keep clean—if your wisdom teeth cause gum disease or cavities, your dentist may suggest an extraction. 

Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Time and Care

Wisdom tooth extraction is major oral surgery. The surgery takes about 45 minutes on average, and wisdom teeth removal recovery time will take about two weeks. Some people may experience swelling around the surgery site, slight bleeding, jaw soreness, and/or mild bruising on the face. These side effects are temporary, and will quickly dissipate over the two-week healing process. 

After your dentist removes your wisdom tooth, they might place several small stitches in your gums to seal up the space left behind. Your dentist will also ask you to bite down on a piece of gauze, to help a blood clot form at the extraction site. The blood clot protects the exposed area from infection and aids the healing process.

To ensure you do not disturb the stitches and blood clots, you will need to stick to soft foods for the first few days as to not harm the surgery areas. It’s also very important to stay away from straws and avoid smoking after tooth extraction. Any sucking motion of your mouth can dislodge the blood clot, causing the surgery site to bleed and become damaged or infected. 

Other Wisdom Teeth Removal Side Effects

Anesthesia Issues

During the surgery, your dentist administers anesthesia to ensure you stay comfortable during the surgery and do not feel anything. Sometimes patients have adverse effects to anesthesia, such as drowsiness or nausea. 

Pain or Discomfort

Every mouth is different, and everyone has different levels of pain tolerance and reactions to medical procedures. Some people do experience wisdom teeth removal pain after the anesthesia wears off. This can sometimes take up to three days to go away. 

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Glendale and Peoria

Wisdom teeth do not always require extraction, but sometimes they need to come out to improve your quality of life. If you have questions or concerns about getting your wisdom teeth removed, or about the wisdom teeth removal recovery process, call Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry at 623-487-4870 to schedule a visit and find out how our friendly dentists can help. 

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay