After you've had your wisdom teeth removed, there's an excellent chance that you are going to experience some swelling. This swelling can be extremely frustrating because it can increase the pain after your surgery. It could also make it difficult to talk and be embarrassing in social situations. In order to reduce all of these problems, you will want to get the swelling down as quickly as possible. Here are some steps that you can take to make sure that you recover quickly and that your face can go back to normal.
1. Apply a Cold Source To Your Face
Applying something cold to your face will cause your blood vessels to constrict and become smaller, which will reduce the volume that they occupy. When their volume is reduced, they won't be able to hold as much fluid and will force it out of your facial area. This will make the swelling go down.
Cold sources that you can use include filling a surgical glove with ice, using a bag of frozen peas or broccoli, or using an ice pack that you purchase from the store. You need to use an ice pack that will be able to conform to the contours of your face in order to make sure that everything is being adequately covered. You will want to have at least four of these packs.
To use an ice pack, hold it against the swelled area for fifteen minutes. Then, take it off for fifteen minutes. Reapply after these fifteen minutes are over and continue in this fashion for the first 12-16 hours after the surgery, whenever you are awake.
After the first 12-16 hours, apply a cold pack every hour for fifteen minutes until the swelling is gone.
2. Keep Your Head Above Your Heart
You don't want excess fluid draining to your face and you're not going to be able to apply a cold pack while you are sleeping. To keep swelling to a minimum, keep your head above your heart at all times. You can do this by propping pillows behind your head.
3. Consider Using Heat
Finally, if you have been religiously using cold packs and not seeing the change you want, consider alternating between hot and cold packs, with fifteen minutes of rest in between. Even just dipping a washcloth in water, ringing it out, and then putting it in the microwave so it is slightly warmer will allow you to force the blood vessels to enlarge, allowing excess fluid to drain out. Once the fluid is gone, you can put a cold source on it to close up the blood vessels again.
For more information, talk to your dental surgeon like those at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Associates .