What to Expect after Wisdom Teeth Removal

One of the most intimidating parts of going through wisdom teeth removal surgery is not knowing exactly what to expect. Everyone’s experience is different, but you don’t have to be totally in the dark on what your recovery will be like. There are some common experiences you can expect to have.

What to Expect the First Few Days after Wisdom Teeth Removal

Day One


Directly after surgery, you’re going to feel quite unnatural. Some might say “loopy.” It is important to keep gauze in place, though, by keeping a firm bite. After the first hour, you’ll probably still be feeling funny. The good news: You can remove the gauze. If any bleeding continues, place new gauze on the surgical sites every 30 to 45 minutes. Gauze is more comfortable in the mouth if it is moistened and fluffed before it is placed.

On day one, do not rinse the surgical area. Brush your teeth very gently at the end of the day. It is important that you remain in bed resting throughout the full first day.

Bleeding and swelling

A small amount of bleeding is normal during the first 24 to 48 hours; however, if bleeding is severe it should be addressed. It is most likely due to gauze being clenched between teeth instead of the surgical areas. Sit up in a recliner or against pillows in bed and bite on moistened tea bags for 30 minutes to encourage clotting. If bleeding continues, call our offices, and we will give you more personalized advice and get you into the office if necessary.

Throughout the first day, put an ice pack firmly against the cheek adjacent to the surgical area on and off every 20 minutes to help reduce swelling. If you were given medicine for swelling, be sure to take it as directed.

Unfortunately, oral surgery is almost always accompanied by a bit of discomfort. One way to minimize pain is to take prescribed pain medicine regularly. Take the first dose before the anesthetic wears off, so it has time to begin working before you begin feeling pain.

Day Two to Four


After the first day, you’ll feel more like yourself. You should be able to eat more than milkshakes and apple sauce. Eat anything you feel confident chewing. We do suggest you avoid food likely to get stuck in the sockets like rice or quinoa. Don’t forget; still no drinking through straws!

Rinse your sockets with salt water two to three times a day. The best recipe for the saline wash is ¼ teaspoon of salt in an eight ounce glass of warm water.

Smoking during recovery severely slows healing. Discomfort and likelihood of dry sockets are increased if you smoke as your mouth is working to heal.

What to Expect after Wisdom Teeth RemovalHealing

As your mouth heals, swelling is normal for the first three days. After day three, your jaw should be much closer to its normal size. The pain should take a dive on day three as well. Things generally start really looking up on day three.

A sore throat due to swollen muscles for the first few days is normal. Jaw bruising may occur as well if there is bruising beneath the tissue during surgery.

Don’t Delay Scheduling Your Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Now that you have a comprehensive idea of what to expect after your wisdom teeth removal surgery, there is no reason to delay scheduling your appointment. Check your calendar for the next four day weekend or vacation time you have. Contact our office right away before all of our appointments are filled.

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