Wisdom Teeth Recovery Swelling

In the period before and after wisdom teeth recovery, swelling can be a major problem. When wisdom teeth first erupt, they may push into other teeth and thus may give rise to overcrowding and irritation.

Impacted wisdom teeth are those which are blocked from erupting. They can be blocked by the gum tissue, which is termed as soft tissue impaction. Sometimes they are still encased in some bone, which is termed as partial or full bony impactions. In this case, they are either partially erupted or completely embedded under the gum tissue and can be seen only on an x-ray. During the impaction, cysts, or pockets of fluids, may form around the teeth. Rarely, tumors can also develop. Swelling can become a problem, as the roots of teeth grow and take firmer hold.

Even if the wisdom teeth are not impacted, and are fully or partially erupted above the gum line, they may be associated with swelling, redness, pain, tenderness, etc. This is just body’s natural response. The body sends more oxygenated blood, red blood cells and essential nutrients to the site of eruption. Due to this, tiny blood vessels in the area dilate and blood flow there increases, which causes swelling, redness and pain.

The swelling can be also brought about by food particles fastened at the site of eruption. To prevent this, thorough rinsing of mouth, with salt water is very essential. Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. This is useful even after the swelling takes place, to reduce it. Avoid using commercial mouthwashes.

During the wisdom teeth recovery, swelling can be reduced by cold compresses, ice packs or ice chips applied to the area externally. The best remedy is to apply ice for the first 24 hours and after that, to treat the area with heat. Apply the ice, wrapped in a cloth, on the swollen area on 10-minutes on, 20-minutes off schedule. Repeat this as required for the first 24 hours after the extraction. Frozen peas, wrapped in a small bag or cloth, can be a good alternative to ice, as they do not keep on melting. For the heat treatment, you can apply a moist warm wash-cloth or towel to the swollen area on a 20-minute on, 20-minute off basis. Keep on repeating as required. Rinsing the mouth with salt water is helpful during this period too. Don’t use commercial mouthwashes, as they can irritate the surgical wound. The pain-relieving medicines prescribed by your dentist, may also contain anti-inflammatory drugs, which help to reduce swelling and make activities like eating, talking, etc. much comfortable.

For the first couple of days and nights after wisdom teeth extraction, you should keep your head elevated while lying down to control the swelling. Steroids are given intravenously during the surgery to fight against swelling. They can cause an interesting phenomenon. In case of some patients, the swelling doesn’t occur immediately or in one or two days after the surgery, but after that. This is called rebound swelling. You need not worry in such a situation, as for this type of swelling too, same remedy, i.e. ice-pack and heat therapy works. Thus during the wisdom teeth recovery, swelling can be reduced by some easy techniques.