Millions of people have their wisdom teeth removed each year. These teeth are considered a scar of human evolution, point out the experts at Princeton University. They serve no purpose and may cause serious problems later down the road.
For example, they may become impacted and affect the nearby teeth and tissues. Infection, pain, and swelling are all common complications. If you experience any of these symptoms, it makes sense to have your wisdom teeth pulled.
Anesthesia for wisdom teeth removal is generally safe. If you have any allergies, let your oral and maxillofacial surgeon know about it.
Depending on the tooth position and root development, you may need local or general anesthesia. Either way, there are a few things you should avoid before and after oral surgery.
Don’t Smoke Before and After Oral Surgery
One of the best things you can do to prevent complications is to stop smoking for at least 12 hours before and after the procedure. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals that may slow down healing and increase the risk of side effects.
After a wisdom tooth is removed, a blood clot forms at the extraction site. Its role is to protect the bone and its surrounding tissues. The chemicals in cigarette smoke can interfere with this process and cause complications, such as a dry socket.
Driving Is Off-Limits
In general, it’s recommended to avoid strenuous activities after having a wisdom tooth removed. Your body needs time to heal the damaged tissues and recover from surgery.
Driving isn’t a strenuous activity, but there are cases where it may not be indicated.
If your dentist has used a local anesthetic, you should be able to drive safely. However, it’s not advisable to drive for at least 48 hours after general anesthesia for wisdom teeth removal or 24 hours if a sedative was used.
Take a Day Off Exercise
Whether it’s cardio, weight training, or team sports, working out puts stress on your body and may slow down healing.
To prevent complications, get plenty of rest and avoid exercise for at least 24 hours after oral surgery. Feel free to resume your workouts after a day or two but start small. Stretching, Pilates, yoga, and other low-impact activities are likely safe.
Ease back into your workout routine after three days or so. Listen to your body and stop the activity if you experience any pain, swelling, or bleeding.
Modify Your Diet
There are a couple of things you should avoid in the first few days after tooth extraction. As a rule of thumb, refrain from drinking alcohol and hot beverages.
Pay attention to what you eat as well. Choose soft or liquid foods, such as mashed potatoes, soups, and fruit purees, over firm foods like nuts and steak. Avoid dairy products in the first 24 hours as they may ferment in your mouth and promote bacterial growth.
Anesthesia for Wisdom Teeth Removal Is Safe
Following these rules can significantly lower the odds of complications. Anesthesia for wisdom tooth removal doesn’t pose any major risks. Discuss your options with an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon to stay on the safe side.
Also, take the medications prescribed by your dentist after surgery. He or she may recommend mild painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Their role is to prevent pain and swelling and speed up healing.
If you’re having problems with a wisdom tooth, contact us today! Our team will determine the root cause of your pain and decide whether or not it’s necessary to have your tooth removed.
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