Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery

Wisdom Tooth Extraction RecoveryWisdom teeth, or the third molars, are the last of your teeth to emerge, often coming in during your late teen years or early 20s. For many people, wisdom teeth pose significant oral health problems, including severe pain and infections. The only way to deal with problems caused by wisdom teeth is to extract them. Extracting your wisdom teeth requires a surgical procedure with which Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio have many years of experience performing. After your surgery, there will be a recovery period.

Pain and Swelling

Some pain and swelling is to be expected following a wisdom tooth extraction and is likely to peak 3 to 5 days later. For minor pain, an over the counter pain reliever can be taken every 4 to 6 hours. You will be provided with a prescription pain medication in the event of more severe pain.

The amount of swelling you are likely to experience depends greatly on the involvement of your procedure. During the first 24 hours after your procedure, ice can be applied, which can help to reduce the amount of swelling you will experience, which will peak in approximately 2 to 3 days. After 48 hours, moist heat applied to the jaw can help to expedite the lessening of swelling.


Some bleeding is common after wisdom tooth extraction and can last up to 48 hours after surgery. Oozing will be slow, and is mainly saliva mixed with blood. Gauze pads held in place with gentle pressure can help to stem the flow and should be changed when saturated until bleeding subsides.


Nausea and even vomiting can occur after surgery and is often a result of anesthesia. Do not take anything, even any prescribed medications, for at least the first hour after your procedure. After the first hour, sipping slowly on water or soda (such as ginger ale) may help. Once your nausea has subsided, then you can eat light, soft, foods and take your medication.


During the first day following your procedure, all activities should be limited to resting on your sofa or in bed with your head elevated. Exercise, including light exercise, should be avoided for 3 to 4 days. Avoid any strenuous activities, bending and lifting, as these movements can increase swelling, pain, and bleeding. After the 3 to 4-day period, you can ease back into your normal exercise routine. If you feel off, ease back on the activity and try again at another time.


Your mouth will be sore after your procedure, so you should stick to a diet of soft, nutritious foods. Avoid eating anything hot, as well as foods such as nuts, seeds, popcorn, and rice. It is important not to skip meals. Nutritious foods eaten regularly throughout the day will help to speed the healing process.

Oral Care

Keeping your mouth clean will help to prevent infection. You should brush your teeth the night after your procedure, but exercise caution around the surgical sites. You can also use salt water rinses 2 to 3 times a day, 24 hours after your procedure. This should be done following meals for the best results.

With proper care, you should heal from wisdom tooth extraction within a matter of weeks. However, if your pain and swelling become unmanageable, bleeding persists, or you develop a fever, these could be signs of a serious issue and should be addressed right away. For more information on healing from wisdom tooth extraction, contact Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio today.

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