After a tooth extraction, whether it's a wisdom tooth or a different tooth, it will take time to heal fully. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help ensure that you recover as quickly as possible. The following tips, combined with the advice of your dentist, can help get you back to feeling like yourself again as fast as possible.

Tip #1: Grab an extra pillow

The first day after the extraction will likely find you feel sleepy and slightly out of it, especially if anesthesia or laughing gas was used during the procedure. Don't give in to the urge to simply crash out on the couch or bed – at least not without first grabbing an extra pillow. Keep your head elevated for the first couple of days after the procedure. This will prevent throbbing pain, since blood won't be rushing into the extraction site, and it can also reduce swelling so healing can progress.

Tip #2: Keep an ice pack handy

Ice, not heat, will relieve swelling and pain simultaneously. The best way to apply ice is against your cheek, not inside of your mouth. Simply wrap an ice pack in a thin towel and hold it against the sore spot. Doing this a couple of times a day, especially in the first couple of days, helps prevent extreme swelling so that your mouth can get on with the healing process.

Tip #3: Manage your socket

After a tooth extraction, you will be left with a socket, or hole, in your gums. This hole is supposed to be protected by a blood clot until the gums heal. Loss of this clot is called dry socket. It basically means the wound is exposed, which is both painful and it slows healing. Prevention is simple – don't smoke, use drinking straws, or suck on anything until the wound closes. Also, avoid socket-size food items, like popcorn and peanuts. Fizzy drinks, like soda, can also dislodge a clot. Finally, follow all dental hygiene recommendations of your dentist. Generally, you can resume your normal eating and hygiene routines within a week if you avoid dry socket.

Tip #4: Maintain a healthy diet

The final key to quick healing is to make sure you are fueling your body properly for recovery. It can be easy to slip into eating easily prepared soft foods, like pudding and ice cream. Instead, stock your home with sugar-free or low-sugar yogurt, healthy pureed soups, and plenty of fruits and vegetables that can quickly be turned into tasty smoothies. Prepare some healthy food options in advance so you don't have to worry about preparing a good meal for the first day or two after the extraction.

Talk to a dentist like those at A Q Denture Services for more help and advice.