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For most people, the wisdom teeth erupt in late adolescence. Sometimes only one or two wisdom teeth emerge while others might become impacted. This can influence the type of procedure you need for extraction, which can also influence your recovery time.

Most of the time, your dentist will remove your wisdom teeth while your mouth is numb from local anesthetic. The anesthetic will numb your mouth and prevent any pain you feel during the treatment. Your dentist or an oral surgeon may also use a dental sedative to calm your nerves. As the doctor extracts your tooth, you may be asleep for a short period of time and you will need someone to give you a ride home afterward.

You should plan on resting after  the procedure. If you were sedated, you might need two or three days to get completely back on your feet. After that point, you can resume normal activities but please avoid doing anything strenuous for at least a week.

Hydration is important after surgery. Be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, carbonated beverages and hot drinks. Avoid drinking anything through a straw; the suction could potentially dislodge a blood clot from a healing incision. Avoid using any tobacco products.

For the first day or two, the incision might weep a little blood. Sometimes it helps to place a little sterile gauze over the area to absorb the blood.

Try to stick to eating soft foods, like applesauce or mashed potatoes. Avoid hard, crunchy foods because they require more work from the jaw muscles and have a greater chance of leaving food particles in the incisions.

You can clean your mouth by rinsing with warm salt water for the first two or three days. After that you can return to gentle brushing, but be mindful to avoid contact with the incisions.

Your doctor will advise you on the best course of action for pain management, which might include a prescription for pain medication.