Recovery from wisdom teeth removal: timeline, healing, and aftercare

Wisdom teeth removal
display four wisdom teeth over x-ray

One of the most popular dental procedures is wisdom tooth extraction. It may take a few weeks for a person to fully recover. Taking adequate care of the wound might help it recover as rapidly as feasible.

Wisdom teeth are a type of big tooth that develops towards the rear of the mouth. Between the ages of 17 and 21, most people’s wisdom teeth emerge through the skin. Some people’s wisdom teeth may not come through at all.

Wisdom teeth may not be able to shift into the proper position due to a lack of space in the mouth. They may merely partially penetrate the gums or burst through at an angle. They are known as impacted wisdom teeth when this happens, and they can cause issues like discomfort or infection.

Although wisdom teeth removal is considered a simple surgery by dentists, it can take up to two weeks for a person to fully recover.

The time it takes to extract a wisdom tooth is determined by the tooth and the intricacy of the procedure.

Timeline for Recovery

Wisdom teeth removal

The healing process may follow this timeline:

First 24 hoursBlood clots will form.
2–3 daysSwelling of the mouth and cheeks should improve.
7 daysA dentist may remove any stitches that remain.
7–10 daysJaw stiffness and soreness should go away.
2 weeksAny mild bruising on the face should heal.

Taking a closer look

Recovery from wisdom teeth surgery will take time, but people should notice some progress every day.

Stitches may be required in some people to help seal the wound. After approximately a week, the dental surgeon will normally remove the sutures.

Bruising, swelling, and discomfort are common side effects after surgery, and they take time to recover. People may also have the following symptoms:

  • jaw tightness or limited mouth opening
  • dizziness or lightheadedness as a result of anesthesia

Advice on Recovering

After wisdom tooth removal surgery, the following suggestions may help a person feel better:

  • If a person was sedated or given general anesthesia, they might feel nauseated or vomit. Taking your medication with food may help you feel better.
  • A person should consume food as long as they can tolerate it.
  • In some cases, prescription pain relievers can cause nausea. Consult your doctor about medication side effects and changes.
  • If nausea or vomiting persists, contact the dental office.

Everyone’s recovery period will be different. Recovery may take longer if blood clots get dislodged from the incision or if the area becomes infected.

Returning to normal routines

Individual healing times vary, however many people find that they may return to work 2–3 days after wisdom teeth removal. If the task needs rigorous exertion, this time may be extended. Consult your dentist or oral surgeon for advice.

For the next two to three days, avoid any vigorous activities. Following this period, a person can gradually resume normal activities.

How to improve the healing process

In the area where the tooth was extracted, blood clots will develop. Blood clots play an important role in the healing process because they:

  • allow new tissue to grow
  • protect the exposed bone
  • help prevent too much bleeding
  • protect the wound from infection

It’s crucial not to dislodge these blood clots over the first 24 hours. People should stay away from:

  • eating food that requires chewing
  • sucking on straws, smoking, or drinking alcohol
  • rinsing the mouth
  • drinking hot drinks

After 24 hours, it’s a good idea to gently rinse the mouth with antibacterial mouthwash.

How to reduce swelling

Swelling may occur as a result of the localized trauma induced by wisdom teeth removal.

Cold compresses, ice chips, or ice packs applied to the region of removal or the face can help reduce swelling. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can also assist with swelling.

If swelling develops as a result of food particles lodged in the region of removal, begin rinsing with salt water or an oral rinse advised by the dentist office 24 hours after the procedure.

What can a patient do right after surgery?

On how to help recuperation, people should seek counsel from their dentist or surgeon. They should provide detailed instructions on how to take any medications and how to promote recovery.

Biting on a gauze pad at the extraction region for up to 60 minutes may be recommended.

An ice pack may also be recommended by a dentist or surgeon during the first few hours following surgery.

Holding an ice pack to the outside of the face for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off over the extraction site will help minimize discomfort and edema.

If someone has been in the hospital for surgery and received a general anesthesia, they will be unable to drive for 48 hours. It is a good idea to take one or two days off work or school after surgery if at all feasible.

After wisdom teeth surgery, people can use pain relievers like ibuprofen to aid with pain and discomfort.

Complications that might occur

Antibiotics may be required if a person contracts an infection. An infection can cause the following symptoms:

  • yellow or white pus around the wound
  • a high temperature
  • pain
  • swelling

After wisdom teeth removal surgery, there is a tiny chance of developing a condition known as dry socket.

If a blood clot does not develop or is knocked away from the incision, this can happen. The pain from a dry socket is excruciating and throbbing. A dentist will most likely need to apply a bandage to the wound.

With careful management, complications after wisdom teeth surgery are uncommon. A person should contact a doctor or dentist if they are experiencing extreme pain, a lot of bleeding, a fever, or any other unusual symptoms.

Tips for home care

While the wound is healing, it is critical to keep it clean. Food can easily get caught in the place where the tooth was removed since people still need to eat and drink. It might be difficult to keep the wound area clean as a result of this.

To help keep the wound clean, try the following:

  • To avoid infection, use an antiseptic mouth rinse.
  • Only after 24 hours, rinse with warm water and salt to minimize swelling and soothe sore gums.
  • When sleeping, raise your head to make yourself more comfortable.

In addition to discomfort, some people experience exhaustion after having their wisdom teeth removed, and they may prefer to postpone exertion for a few days after the procedure.

What to eat after wisdom teeth removal

Soft or watery meals might assist to keep wounds from becoming infected. Here are a few examples:

  • mashed banana
  • thin soup
  • soft noodles
  • gelatin
  • pudding

Avoid meals that require chewing for the first several days following surgery, such as sticky sweets or chewing gum. These can become lodged, causing agony and causing harm to the healing wounds. Avoid hard, crunchy meals like chips, pretzels, nuts, and seeds, as well as foods that are hot or spicy.

It may be feasible to chew on the other side of the mouth after 24 hours if one or two wisdom teeth have been removed from the same side of the mouth.

Why are wisdom teeth so difficult to deal with?

The other teeth in the mouth have already settled into position by the time wisdom teeth emerge in maturity. In many cases, the mouth does not have enough space to accommodate the entrance of four huge teeth.

Food can easily become caught between a tooth and the gum if it barely comes halfway through. It’s also possible that a person may have a harder time keeping their teeth clean, which might lead to infection or tooth decay.

Wisdom teeth, on the other hand, can create issues even if they completely come through the gum. They may brush against the interior of the mouth or the gums if they develop at an angle. By rubbing against other teeth, they may create pain.

If a person attends the dentist on a regular basis as a teenager and early eye, the dentist can monitor the development of the wisdom teeth and predict whether or not issues may arise.


Recovery from wisdom teeth extraction surgery normally takes 2 weeks with good treatment. After a few days, however, most people are able to resume their normal activities.

If there isn’t enough room in a person’s mouth for all of their teeth, wisdom tooth removal surgery may be required. Teeth can become impacted, resulting in infection. A person’s wisdom teeth may be in pain if they have developed at an angle.