Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Surgery

wisdom teeth surgery recovery


Nobody looks forward to dental extraction, and extraction of the wisdom teeth tends to have the worst reputation of all. This is primarily because the wisdom teeth are extremely large, located right in the far corners of each dental arch and are often impacted or have other issues that make them complex to remove. However, the surgery doesn’t really deserve its reputation. Modern anesthetic, tools, and techniques, plus the option of sedation mean that the extraction of wisdom teeth is no more of a big deal than any other type of tooth. Nevertheless, you will still need to give yourself plenty of time to heal and recover, and this will help to ensure that you minimize your risk of developing complications both during your recovery and in the future.


To help you understand what to expect following wisdom tooth surgery, we have put together the following valuable information.


The Physical Effects of Wisdom Teeth Surgery


Unsurprisingly, the most significant effect of your wisdom teeth removal will be felt in your mouth. You should expect to have a swollen mouth and cheeks, and this may last for a few days. Many dentists recommend that you use a very cold cloth pushed against the side of your face to help reduce inflammation and ease your discomfort.


Other physical effects of your surgery that you may notice could include:

  • Bruising across your cheeks

  • A stiff, sore jaw

  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth

  • Tingling or numbness


Your extraction site shouldn’t really bleed. However, if you notice excessive bleeding you should speak to your dentist as soon as possible.


Taking Pain Medication


It is very normal to be in some discomfort following wisdom teeth removal. Over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient to help you manage and you should be sure to take these as prescribed. You can use a cold compress against the outside of your face to reduce swelling and inflammation too.


Taking Time Off of Work Following a Wisdom Tooth Extraction


You shouldn’t need to take too long off of work to recover from a wisdom tooth extraction. Most people find that they need no more than a couple of days. You will be able to drive immediately following your extraction provided you haven’t been sedated. If you have had sedation, you will not be able to drive for up to 48 hours depending on the advice from your oral surgeon.


General Aftercare Advice Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction


  • You will need to rinse the extraction site with antiseptic mouthwash, beginning 24 hours after your surgery and continuing several times each day in line with the instructions given to you by your dental surgeon.

  • For the first 24 hours, you should avoid rinsing, spitting, drinking through a straw and drinking hot drinks as all of these activities could dislodge the blood clot that forms over the extraction site.

  • Stick to a soft or liquid diet for several days and try not to eat over the extraction site.

  • Don’t do any intense physical exercise for at least 48 hours.

  • Sleep with an extra pillow to keep your head elevated at night.

  • If you have been given antibiotics, make sure that you finish the course.


If you would like more information about what to expect during recovery from a wisdom tooth extraction, please contact IronWood Dental Care in Queen Creek, AZ where our team would be happy to help.