Recent events have brought a lot of attention to the question of how long it takes to recover after wisdom tooth extraction. Ariana Grande was scheduled to sing in the MLB All Star concert on July 11, but she pulled out at the last minute, ostensibly because her wisdom teeth had been pulled out the Monday before. Some people say this is just a cover story and Grande was really asked to leave because of the fracas surrounding her doughnut-licking dare and comments about America, because it shouldn’t take that long to recover from wisdom tooth extraction.
Most people will recover quickly from wisdom tooth extraction, but there are some circumstances in which recovery could take longer.
Normal Recovery from Wisdom Tooth Extraction
For most people, we recommend that you count on relaxing for the rest of the day after your wisdom tooth extraction. You will likely not feel like doing anything, and you shouldn’t engage in vigorous activity that can elevate your heartrate and result in more bleeding. As the surgical anesthesia wears off, you will begin to experience some discomfort. Your personal discomfort depends on your individual susceptibility. Take medication as directed.
The next day, it’s okay to return to light activity. This can include work if you’re not experiencing a lot of discomfort (some don’t), and your work doesn’t require vigorous physical activity.
By the second or third day after your wisdom tooth extraction, most people can return to a full range of activities.
Complications That Grande Might Have Experienced
Based on the normal time frame, there’s no reason why Grande shouldn’t have been able to sing in the MLB All Star Concert. She could have returned to light practices on Tuesday, working up to a full practice by Thursday, which would give her time to prepare for Saturday Night’s concert.
However, she might have experienced some possible complications. If she had more discomfort than usual, it might have made it hard for her to practice, or she might have been using pain medications that made it hard for her to practice.
Another possibility is that she was experiencing excessive swelling. Swelling could have made it hard for her to sing, and it might have made her afraid she wasn’t going to look her best for one of her highest-profile performances.
She might also have done something to dislodge the blood clot in one of the sockets, which might have increased her discomfort as well as her risk of complications.
Certainly, it’s possible that there was just enough sign of complications that the MLB decided it was best to go with a singer who was in full health.
How to Avoid Complications after Wisdom Teeth Extraction
We will give you specific instructions at your consultation and the day of your procedure, so follow those in detail. In general, though, there are some things that you can do to reduce your risk of complications.
- Don’t brush the area: Go ahead and brush your front teeth, but don’t brush the area around your extracted teeth. This could dislodge the blood clot, which protects the sockets left by the extracted teeth. Rinse frequently with salt water to keep your mouth clean.
- Apply ice periodically: Use an ice pack (not ice applied directly to the skin) to help control discomfort and swelling. Apply for 20 minutes, then rest for 20 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
- Eat soft foods: You especially want to avoid foods that break up into small pieces that could get into the sockets and cause infection. But hard foods can also hurt your jaw, which might be sore since the surgery. Enjoy soft, cool foods that you can eat with a spoon.
- Don’t use a straw: The suction from a straw could dislodge the blood clot in the socket, increasing the risk of complications.
- Take it easy: Avoid strenuous exercise for about a week after your extraction. Strenuous exercise raises your heart rate and blood pressure, which can dislodge the blood clot.
Scheduling Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If you are in need of a wisdom tooth extraction, it’s best not to schedule it within a week of a major event. Although most people recover quickly, there’s always a risk that complications could arise, and it’s best not to put yourself at risk of ruining that event for you and for others.