Wisdom tooth extractions are a quite common procedure that is often performed to those in the early 20s. This procedure is commonly done in the dentist or oral surgeon’s office, and in some severe cases the hospitals. Wisdom tooth extractions are performed under anesthetic and thus, may cause pain afterward. Since this is a procedure concerning an impacted tooth located in an unseen region of the gum, post-operative care is really essential for promoting proper healing.
How wisdom tooth is removed
Impacted wisdom teeth can be a big oral problem when left untreated, as it does not only cause discomfort and pain associated with mouth uses, but also lead to other more severe complications. To remove an impacted wisdom tooth, the dentist opens up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out bone surrounding the tooth. After that, the tissues connecting the tooth to the bone will be separated. He then removes the tooth. In severe impaction, the partially erupted third molars may need to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier for the surgeon to pull the tooth out of the socket. After the tooth can be extracted thoroughly, a hole may present on the affected socket that stitches are required to close it off.
How long does wisdom tooth surgery take to heal?
Despite its complicated process, wisdom tooth surgery is not categorized as a big surgery, so that recovery period commonly only takes some days to a week. This healing time will be faster if proper post-operative treatments are performed, yet might take a longer period of time if post-surgery infection occurs. In order to perform these suitable treatments for the treated mouth part, it is important to know how and how long treated wisdom tooth socket will heal.
- As a natural way of cleansing the tooth socket, the body will send more blood to the wound site, triggering bleeding after the performed surgery. Depending on how difficult was, the amount of blood secreted may vary. However, blood clot should be promoted within 24 hours after the surgery. Your dentist will ask you to bite a cotton pad on gently within first few hours to promote blood clot.
- On the first day, swelling and pain might still be excruciating, causing extreme discomfort while eating, even talking and opening the mouth. On the next day, you are allowed to rinse the mouth with warm saline water to reduce this pain and swelling.
- If the hole in a pulled tooth gum is closed off with non-dissolvable stitches, you might be required to see the surgeon 4 to 5 days after the surgery to get these stitches manually removed. On the contrary, dissolvable stitches will be broken down by the body naturally, so that within 5 to 7 days the cavity on the treated tooth socket will be fully closed off.
- Although not frequent, there is a risk of having an infected pulled tooth socket after a wisdom tooth surgery, which delays the entire healing process. While a real infection might occur soon after the procedure, dry socket—another painful infection-like post-surgery symptoms usually occur 5 days after the surgery. If you are suffering from a post-surgery infection, you might require a longer healing period, and if this infection is left untreated, the causal bacteria may spread into the bloodstream, triggering more complicated symptoms that may delay the entire recovery process.
In addition to proper healing care, wisdom tooth surgery recovery period is also influenced by some other factors, such as:
- The age of the patient.
Wisdom teeth mostly occur in late adolescence and thus, wisdom tooth extraction surgeries are common within those in the early 20s. Patients in 20s may elapse shorter healing period compared to those in their 30s, since in early adulthood, the root of the impacted tooth is not as tight as it is in people in their 30s so that the surgery is also relatively easier.
- Personal immune system.
Infection of the pulled tooth socket may occur due to weakened immune system that is unable to fight bacteria properly. Thus, it is important to maintain your immune system before and after the performed procedure. One of the easiest methods is maintaining the diet.
- The resulted wound site.
Some people may only need one wisdom tooth extracted to improve their oral health. However, some others may have more than one—even four—impacted third molars that need to be treated. The upcoming healing period will depend on how severe the resulted complication from the surgery is. How severe the tooth sockets wound after the surgery also determine the amount of required healing time within individuals. Deeper holes on gum may trap excess foods if not properly taken care of, which leads to inhibited recovery period and improvements.