Wisdom teeth are the last set of permanent molars to develop. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed if they are impacted--meaning they do not break through the gum line--or cause crowding of the other teeth. Getting your wisdom teeth removed can be very painful, but healing occurs fairly rapidly. During recovery, you may have to limit yourself from eating certain foods because of pain, soreness or a temporary inability or discomfort from chewing.
Foods You Can Eat
Chewing and swallowing may be painful after surgery. The thought of eating might even sound slightly daunting. Focus on drinking fluids and juices and eating soft foods during this time. Yogurt, gelatin, pudding, oatmeal, soup broths of tepid temperature and fruit smoothies are good starter foods. As the pain lessens, you can graduate to soft breads, macaroni and cheese, eggs and soup. Pureed foods like applesauce, pear sauce, hummus, mashed potatoes and refried beans are nutrient-dense and easy to consume.
Foods to Avoid
During the first 24 hours after your wisdom teeth are extracted, you should avoid eating foods that are extreme in temperature or flavor. Hot foods in particular can promote bleeding. Avoid eating chewy or tough foods, small grains, oats or foods with small seeds such as berries or sesame seeds, as these small foods may have a tendency to get stuck in the area where your teeth were removed. It is also important to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the tooth was removed. Acidic foods may aggravate the site of your surgery, so you may want to avoid those foods and liquids, as well.
Following surgery, you should drink fluids, particularly water. You should drink roughly five to six glasses of liquid daily after surgery to avoid dehydration. Avoid skipping meals. As your body heals, it will need high-calorie, high-proteins foods in order to function and heal properly. Consuming enough calories will give your body more strength, reduce comfort and accelerate healing time.
The Recovery Process
The initial pain and discomfort from surgery should only last the first few days following surgery. You can influence the rate at which your surgery heals by closely following the guidelines your dentist prescribes to you after the surgery. The Center for Young Women's Health suggests that after surgery, you should use an ice pack to reduce swelling or pain, continue to brush and floss regularly, avoiding the surgery site. You should also change cotton gauze dressings, take your prescribed medications, rinse and spit with a cup of salt water every couple of hours and always keep your head elevated. You should not smoke for at least 24 hours after surgery, use a straw to drink or participate in heavy activity. Most importantly, get at least eight to 10 hours of sleep each night.
If you continue to have excessive bleeding, numbness, headaches, infections or sharp pains one to two weeks after surgery, you should inform your dentist. Your doctor may need to prescribe additional medications.