The wisdom teeth healing process involves healing of all wound surfaces. The socket’s floor heals vertically while its sides heal laterally. Healing normally takes place through a process known as organization. Blood vessels and fibrous connective tissue (granulation tissue) grow and penetrate the blood clot. Epithelial tissue also grows on the top of the socket. It should be noted that the blood clot may be unrecognizable because its red coloration fades out with exposure to saliva.
Manipulation of the socket is not recommended during the wisdom teeth healing process. In fact, this may delay it to the extent the patient disturbs the blood clot. Aspirin should be avoided as well because it thins the blood, and there is a risk your mouth may bleed.
Remember that it is normal for the extraction site to be tender during the first couple of days. Bruising and swelling sometimes occur following wisdom teeth extraction. The worst jaw stiffness, pain, and swelling typically occur during the first 2 – 3 days after the extraction procedure.
The best thing to do is to take it easy during the first two days and avoid exercising for at least 24 hours. During the first night after the extraction, it is best to keep your head up (you may use pillows for this). Lying flat may prolong bleeding. Do not do heavy lifting and do not bend during the next 2 or 3 days. Physical activity and exercise may increase bleeding.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will give you advice on how to control bleeding if it occurs. In most cases, you will be using a gauze pad to be placed on the surgical site. Keeping pressure on it is important. The dressing should be changed every 40 minutes, but this depends on the amount of bleeding. Some people worry that they are bleeding excessively (which may be a concern is some cases). Usually, it is a large amount of saliva mixed with a small amount of blood or what dentists call ‘spit’.
Finally, smoking may delay the wisdom teeth healing process. It is recommended to avoid smoking during the first 24 hours following wisdom teeth removal. The sucking motion may loosen the blood clot, thus delaying healing. Furthermore, smoking may bring contaminants and germs to the surgical site and decreases the blood supply.