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Everything You Need to Know About Wisdom Tooth Removal Aftercare

Need to get those pesky wisdom teeth removed? Here's a guide to wisdom tooth removal aftercare to keep on hand.

Wisdom teeth usually develop in our late teens or early twenties. In some cases, they serve as a worthy asset to your mouth – when strong and properly aligned.

Getting your wisdom teeth removed is serious oral surgery, so the recovery isn’t always pleasant. But unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if you follow the right wisdom tooth removal aftercare.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Aftercare: What To Expect

Wisdom tooth removal can result in serious swelling and bruising around the mouth and gums. This can make eating, drinking, and taking care of yourself in general quite difficult.

You should use your aftercare period as a chance to ease back into your normal routine. Even if you don’t feel any pain or discomfort right after your procedure, there are some things you should do to help with recovery and reduce any risk of complications or infection.

Firstly, make sure you remove the gauze surgical pad 30 minutes after surgery. Once the effects of the anesthetic wear off you will probably experience some pain and discomfort. After all, you’ve just had major oral surgery.

Your doctor probably gave you pain medication – so if you experience pain, just take these as prescribed. Wisdom tooth removal is invasive, so your gums and jaw will feel tender – there may be swelling, and bleeding is normal too. Avoid touching the wound during this time or rinsing your mouth.

Blood clots forming is important to the healing process – so don’t do anything to dislodge these clots. Avoid smoking, rinsing, and drinking through straws.

On the topic of oral health – here are some other common problems all adults should be aware of.

Source: Unsplash

Wisdom Tooth Removal Aftercare Tips

Even though wisdom tooth removal procedures are relatively simple, it’s important to follow proper aftercare instructions so that you can recover quickly and completely.

Here are some tips for taking care of yourself after wisdom tooth removal surgery:

Ease Bleeding With Gauze (Or Tea Bags)

It is totally normal to experience bleeding during wisdom tooth removal recovery. As is oozing or redness in your saliva. You can control excessive bleeding by placing a gauze pad over the surgical area and biting firmly for 30 minutes.

But if your bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for another 30 minutes – the tannic acid in the tea bag will help form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. But the most important thing to do to minimize bleeding is to stay calm, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding continues contact your doctor immediately.

Ease Pain As Necessary

You can ease moderate pain by taking Tylenol or ibuprofen – like Advil – every three to four hours. But if you’re experiencing severe pain levels, you should take your prescribed pain medication as directed. Pain medication can make you feel dizzy so make sure you don’t overexert yourself and rest up. Pain or discomfort after your surgery should lessen each day. But if the pain persists, you should contact your doctor.

Sip On Something For Nausea

If you experience nausea or vomiting, avoid medication for at least an hour after surgery. Then sip slowly on coke, tea, or ginger ale. As soon as your nausea subsides you can start taking the prescribed medication.

Swelling Will Only Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Swelling during your wisdom tooth removal recovery is to be expected – particularly around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face. After all, this is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and healing. In this case, swelling won’t be evident until the day after your surgery and won’t reach its peak until two to three days after the surgery.

Simply apply ice to help alleviate swelling, but switch to moist heat thirty-six hours after surgery.
It’s also normal for black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration to occur due to blood spreading beneath the tissues.

Watch What You Eat

Wisdom tooth removal aftercare is also about what you eat. It’s essential that you drink plenty of liquids – at least five to six glasses every day. Remember, don’t use straws because the sucking can dislodge the blood clot around the surgical wound. You should eat soft foods that are high in calories and protein. Try not to miss a meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort, and heal faster if you continue to eat.

Source: Unsplash

Keep It Clean

Oral hygiene plays an integral role in your wisdom tooth removal aftercare You can brush your teeth the night of your surgery, but rinse gently and be careful around the surgery site. Starting the day after your surgery, you should begin rinsing at least five to six times a day (especially after meals). Keep your mouth clean with saltwater rinses or a toothbrush.

Don’t Fret If You Lose A Stitch

Wisdom teeth stitches are there to help minimize bleeding and promote healing. Sometimes these may dislodge – if this happens, don’t worry, just discard them. The stitches will be removed after one week of surgery.

Dry Sockets Aren’t Fun

Experiencing a dry socket during wisdom tooth removal aftercare is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. If this happens, the surgical wound will be painful, and you may experience ear pain in a day or two. Call your doctor if this occurs.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery: When to Contact Your Dentist

Wisdom tooth removal aftercare and recovery varies from person to person, but the pain should subside within a few days if you follow your doctor’s instructions rigorously. If you have a fever, are still experiencing severe pain and discomfort, or if bleeding continues after 24 hours, contact your dentist immediately.


How long does it take the holes to close after wisdom tooth removal?

Within a matter of days, the gum tissue should heal and close off the extraction site. Within two weeks, there should be a smooth texture over the socket that matches the gum tissue surrounding it, but it may take a few months before the socket itself closes.

Which day is worse after wisdom tooth removal?

The day after your wisdom tooth removal is usually the worst day for swelling. Pain is typically at its peak on the day of the surgery (after the anesthetic has worn off) and the next day. Continue taking your pain killers as directed and contact your doctor if the pain or swelling worsens in the days after your wisdom tooth removal

How do I sleep the first night after wisdom tooth removal?

You will need to elevate your head when sleeping for the first few nights. A single pillow should suffice when sleeping on your side. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, pile a few pillows behind you for support and lean back.

When can I stop worrying about dry socket?

You can usually stop worrying about the dry socket after 7-10 days because your gums would have closed after this amount of time. Every person heals in their own time depending on age, oral health, hygiene, and other factors.

Can I yawn after wisdom tooth removal?

You might find it difficult to speak, chew, yaw, or smile without pain within the first few days after your surgery. Jaw stiffness and limitation in range of movement should be completely gone within the first ten days.


Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.