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Heating pad for swelling after wisdom tooth extraction

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Posted by: bouncerguy  (10 years ago)

It's been 3 days since I had all my four wisdom teeth extracted. The stitches hurt a lot. I applied ice for the first day but the swelling got worse, it spread to my neck and forehead. My cheeks felt like they are going to explode.I tried
applying heating pad on it and it got better. My cheeks are still swollen but the pain has reduced considerably. My neck and forehead are not swollen anymore. I'm able to move my jaw now. The heating pad is so soothing.

Is it okay to continue using the heating pad? Everyone recommends the ice pack but it has not helped me at all.What are the disadvantages of using the heating pad in this case? Will it slow down the healing process?

Thank you in advance for your insights.
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Posted by: Ciindy  (10 years ago)
My gut reaction was no, no, no to the heating pad. Please call the office where the extraction was done. usually it's ice for 5-10 minutes off for 5-10 minutes then back on again, for at least 24-48 hours. usually no heat for that period of time, especially when infection or swelling is involved. I believe that is because heat can make the infection or swelling spread but I'm not positive about that. Always call the office with ?s like that..... (from a dental staff member, not a dentist)
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Posted by: sweetjaden  (10 years ago)
I suggest you use ice. Cooling an area reduces blood flow, swelling, and pain. Avoid heating pad as it will make things worse.
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Posted by: bouncerguy  (10 years ago)
Thank you for your posts. I'd better use the ice then to avoid any complications.
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Posted by: liljie  (10 years ago)
Use cold compress against your cheeks for the first 24 hours following surgery. After 24 hours use warm compress. As for the heating pad, do not set the heat too high.
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Posted by: thedrummer  (10 years ago)
My dentist said ice application is only good for the initial 24 hours. This will reduce the swelling. It also helps in the formation of blood clot. Apply heat pad to your cheeks after 24 hours.