When you have your wisdom teeth extracted, there remain large holes in your gums. That hole in your wisdom tooth can be the size of an entire molar. Most surgeons complete the procedure by clothing the whole with stitches, but that is not always the case. In the absence of stitches, you may have to deal with many problems, including food stuck in wisdom tooth hole. Rinsing your mouth with salt water usually helps, but it may not always prove effective. What should you do in that case?
Should You Worry?
No, there is no need to panic. While any food particle stuck in wisdom tooth wound can be quite uncomfortable, it just cannot cause an infection on its own. The wound may continue to heal even if you have food particles stuck in it. Instead of doing something to remove the food particles, you should avoid probing the wound and pay your attention to keeping it clean.
What Can You Do?
The best thing is to do nothing. If you try too hard and end up getting a dry socket, you will have to deal with some pain. This is usually the case when you confuse a clot with food, which also looks fibrous and gray, like food particles. Removing the cloth may lead to further complications.
Try a Syringe
If you really find it uncomfortable with food stuck in wisdom tooth hole, you may want to make use of a syringe to clean the area. The idea is to control the water flow and clean the area; however, do use it with care or it may flush away the blood clot that helps to accelerate healing. You can use an irrigator for the same task, but be sure to talk to your dentist before using it. If they give you a green signal, here is how to proceed:
- Take a syringe and fill it with lukewarm water – you can also use the saltwater solution.
- Now, keep the tip of the syringe close to your wound but do not touch it. Flush the site.
- Try to flush it from different angles to clean the area and prevent infection. Avoid pushing forcefully though.
Know When to See Your Dentist
It is common to experience some bleeding for a few days after the extraction of your wisdom tooth. You should seek professional help if you experience some other symptoms too. For instance, talk to your doctor if:
- You experience excessive bleeding.
- You notice pus in the wound.
- You experience difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- You have a high fever.
- You have swelling that keeps getting worse.
- You experience throbbing pain after first 48 hours.
- You notice bad breath after 3 days.
- You have severe pain that does not respond to painkillers.
Self-Care After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
You can certainly try ways to handle situations when you have food stuck in wisdom tooth hole, but there are steps to avoid experiencing any complication after the procedure. Here are a few self-care measures to take:
1. Eat Soft Foods Only
To avoid experiencing any complications, stick to soft foods as much as possible. In fact, you should eat soft foods and nothing else for at least 24 hours after your surgery. You can gradually introduce semi-soft foods in your diet once you notice your wound getting better.
Just avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods for as long as you can to prevent infection and irritation. Moreover, you should use the other side and avoid chewing on the extraction site. Ideally, you should be sticking to soft food like mashed potatoes, vegetable soup, and soft pasta, but ensure you only eat room-temperature soft food. Milkshakes, yogurt, and smoothies are also healthier food options.
2. Avoid Hot and Spicy Food
Eating hot food is not a good idea because the heat can break the blood clot in the socket and lead to infection or dry socket. Also avoid spicy foods as they may cause irritation and infection. Ask your doctor about the best time you can include hot, spicy food in your diet.
3. Pay Attention to Hydration
You should increase your intake of fluids to keep your mouth moist. This helps keep your body hydrated and oral mucosa moist. This in turn keeps the clots in place and accelerates recovery. However, you should stay away from soda or carbonated beverages because they can weaken blood clot. Avoid using a straw to drink anything because that sucking force can put unnecessary pressure on the clot and cause it to break off.
4. Stay Away from Alcohol
You should not drink alcohol at least for the first 24 hours following your surgery. Alcohol can interfere with the healing process and make recovery difficult. You may even experience more swelling and pain if you drink alcohol after your surgery. You should avoid alcohol also because many pain medications can actually interfere with alcohol and cause serious complications.
5. Do Not Go for Small Foods
You may be thinking that you can eat small foods to avoid irritating your wound, but that is not a good idea. To avoid food stuck in wisdom tooth hole, foods with small seeds, such as poppy seeds or sesame seeds should be avoided at all cost. The same is true for rice. These small seeds and grains can easily go into the tooth sockets and cause infection.
Other Tips to Help
Here are some additional tips to aid your recovery without having to deal with any complications:
- Take painkillers as prescribed by your doctor. You can take ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve pain.
- Stay away from strenuous exercise or activity for a few days.
- Keep your head propped up at night by using an extra pillow for support.
- Do not spit, rinse, and drink hot beverages for the first 24 hours after your surgery.
- Do not smoke.
- Use antiseptic mouthwash to rinse the extraction site after 24 hours of your surgery.