Over the years opinions have gone back and forth over the pros and cons of having wisdom teeth removed. Hossein Ghaeminia of Radboud University will receive his PhD for his current research into problem-free wisdom teeth. He undertook a systematic review of all of the research in the field to bring together current research on this topic.
The answer remains that your best course of action is to consult with an oral surgeon to determine your personal risk factors, and if this surgery is a fit for you and your health. Your risk factors should be considered; primary risk factors include:
- People over 26 years of age and women
- People who smoke
- Patients with a high risk of nerve damage
If your decision is go ahead with surgery, there are several things you can do to minimize the risk of infection, and promote healing. Proactive methods after surgery include:
- Using ice packs for the first 36 hours after surgery to reduce swelling
- Restrict activities for a day or two after surgery to minimize bleeding
- Do not use straws
- Eat a soft food diet and increase fluid intake
- The day after surgery, rinse the mouth at least 5-6 times per day with water. Alternatively, rinse with 1 c. warm water mixed with 1 tsp. salt
- Take antibiotics as directed
- Communicate with your doctor if you have any concerns
Communication with your oral surgery is important. Discussion before and after surgery, and following your doctor’s instructions are essential for successful recovery.