You’ve heard it before: exercise is good for your overall health. Here at Sue Walker Dentistry, a dentist in Milwaukie OR, we like to say that exercise is a lot like brushing your teeth– make it part of your daily routine!
But what about when our teeth have work done to them? Is it a good idea to exercise then? If you have had your wisdom teeth or third molars removed, this may be one of the rare instances where you should take a break from your regular exercise routine.
Getting you wisdom teeth removed is considered oral surgery, which means that complications can arise if you do not allow your mouth to properly heal. If you enjoy exercising you may be eager to go– even after surgery! But using caution in terms of post-surgery exercise will ensure a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.
So how soon can I exercise after surgery?
The type of surgery typically determines the type of exercise you can do. If you were sedated during your procedure, you may not want to do much movement; you most likely will feel tired for the day and hours after the procedure. For your safety it is important to listen to your body. Some side effects to watch out for are lethargy and numbness– this is a clear sign to let your body rest!
For instance, Dr. Sue recommends that you wait at least 24 hours after wisdom teeth removal to allow full recovery before you do any type of exercise. The gum area and sockets where the teeth were extracted may bleed for many hours after a surgery, and it is important to allow full recovery.
What exercise is best?
After any type of surgery, it is a good idea to do an exercise that is extremely low-impact. This is because your mouth will feel high impact movements, which can effect healing. Even if the bleeding has stopped and the pain is minimal, choose a low-impact activity like yoga, stretching, or light strength training that can bring your heart rate up without the jarring force of intense exercise.
While the vast majority of oral surgeries have no complications and heal quickly, we want our patients to be aware of the risks involved so we can work together to avoid them!
One of the risks to watch out for is dry socket. Dry socket occurs when a blood clot from the healing surgical site has been dislodged or broken open, exposing the nerves and bone inside the gums, and causing pain. If you bite down to hard lifting a heavy weight, or even if your jaw is bumped in by a sudden movement– such as that occuring with vigorous exercise– this could increase the risk of dry socket.
Other complications we want to be on the look out for include swelling, bleeding and pain. All of these indicate that your body needs rest following surgery. Be sure to come back into our clinic for care if these post-surgical complications continue for more than an hour, or are severe. Safe healing after any dental procedure is our first priority.
In general, take it easy for the first 12-24 hours after an oral surgery. Visit Dr. Sue to learn more.