Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure that many teens and adults get each year. Some people may never need the surgery, with 20%-35% of the population being born without any wisdom teeth at all. For those with wisdom teeth grown in, wisdom teeth removal is often done as a preventative measure in order to prevent oral infections in the future.
Although wisdom teeth removal is a simple day surgery, the recovery period can last for up to two weeks. Sleep is one of the most important factors in your recovery after surgery, and it can make the healing process go faster.
That being said, many patients experience side effects after wisdom teeth removal, such as swelling, discomfort and sometimes pain. Now, the last thing you want after surgery is a poor night’s sleep. In this guide, we want to share 6 key hacks to get a good sleep after wisdom teeth removal.
Often, over the counter Tylenol is enough to manage your symptoms and side-effects after wisdom teeth removal. However, your dentist may prescribe a pain medication, antibiotics or medication for swelling if they think it’s needed.
At night after a long day, often your symptoms can feel more prominent. That is why it’s very important to take your prescribed medication as instructed. It’s also a good idea to take Tylenol or other over the counter pain medications before bed, however, do not exceed the daily recommended dosage for any over the counter products. Always follow the instructions of your dentist when it comes to prescribed medications.
Ice packs are an excellent way to combat the swelling that accompanies wisdom teeth removal. Normally, a significant amount of the swelling subsides within the first few days after your surgery.
However, in the meantime, after surgery, it can help to hold a cold pack or compress to your jaw and cheek area for intervals of 15-25 minutes. Do this multiple times a day as needed in order to manage your swelling.
Be sure to use a towel or paper towel over your ice pack in order to protect your skin from the cold. Ice packs can be especially helpful before bed.
Elevation is an excellent way to reduce the risk of swelling at night. If you can sleep with a few extra pillows for the first couple of days after your procedure, your swelling will likely be less severe.
When you elevate your head and neck over your chest at a 45 degree angle, there is less risk that blood will collect in the area that has been operated on. This reduces the feeling of throbbing in your gums and can also reduce the risk of excessive bleeding after surgery.
Likewise, in a similar vein, it’s important to sleep on your back for the recovery period after your surgery for the same reason. If you sleep on your side or on your front, blood will pool to that area and you will end up with swelling more on one side than the other.
When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, there are some key aftercare instructions that you should follow.
Taking your medications on time, getting plenty of rest and ensuring you follow a largely liquid diet for the first few days of recovery are most important.
One of the most difficult things to adjust to after wisdom teeth removal is the dietary restrictions involved. The first few days after your procedure limit you to a liquid diet to ensure your gums heal properly.
This can often lead to patients feeling hungry as a result. It’s very hard to sleep on an empty stomach, so be sure to plan out your dinners before your procedure. These are some really great post-surgery meal ideas to get you started.
Wisdom teeth removal is a big procedure and chances are, you were probably a little bit stressed about the experience.
It’s important to do things that will help you relax to help mitigate feelings of stress or anxiety before bed. There is nothing worse than laying in bed after your procedure worrying, unable to quiet your mind.
Take some extra time to do things that you like in order to relax before bed. If you enjoy reading for example, you can open up your favorite novel. If you have a TV show you love, you could put it on before bed.
Doing the things that you enjoy before bed can help to take your mind off of the procedure you’ve had.
If you think you might need your wisdom teeth removed, the team at Glen Dental Centre can support you from the initial consultation through to wisdom teeth removal and post-surgery care — like getting a good night's sleep!
We are based in Coquitlam, BC and serve all areas of Vancouver as well as the Lower-Mainland. The fastest way to get the process started is to book an initial appointment with our dentists. After an assessment, our team creates a specialized treatment plan dedicated to your specific needs.