What to Expect When You have Wisdom Teeth Removed

Knowing what you can expect to happen after surgery to remove wisdom teeth helps to reduce anxiety about the procedure. It can also help you prepare so your recovery will be as comfortable as possible.

What will I feel like?

On the first day after surgery, you may experience some minor bleeding and pain. You might want to use an old pillowcase that you don’t care about or cover your pillow with an old towel to protect it from staining.

Each person’s reaction to surgery is different, including sensation of pain, which can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding use of pain relievers. You should also expect some swelling, which usually peaks on the second day and should begin resolving on the third day. Use ice to curb swelling, especially on the first day after surgery. It might be a bit uncomfortable, but it really makes a difference.

On the third day, you might notice that your jaw muscles are stiff and it’s difficult to open your mouth normally. Applying moist head to your face on the second and third days will help your muscles relax.

Activities to avoid

Limit your activities for the first few days after surgery—your body needs time to heal! Participating in strenuous exercise, smoking, spitting and drinking from a straw all could dislodge stitches or the blood clot that will have formed over your wound. Most patients feel they’re on their way to recovery in three to five days.

Eat right

After surgery, it’s important to eat soft, nutritious foods to aid the healing process. Keep foods lukewarm or cold as hot foods might irritate your wound. Read Eating Right After Surgery for specific ideas on what to eat.

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