How To Care For Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Getting any tooth removed is a scare, and wisdom teeth removal is in its own category. This article will offer after-surgery tips as well as some general information on wisdom teeth removal.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Get Extracted?

Wisdom teeth are the final molars to come in, usually in people aged 17 to 21. Many people’s jaw bones don’t provide enough room for the teeth. As a result, they can grow in at odd angles or become impacted, which means they are stuck under the gums and can’t come down into the mouth.

Wisdom teeth don’t always have to be removed. But if your dentist foresees future complications, they will need to come out.

Potential problems can include sinus trouble, crowding other teeth, gum inflammation, cavities, irregular bite, and jaw issues.

What Happens When You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom tooth removal is a day surgery, meaning you don’t have to be checked into a hospital overnight.

Depending on the type of surgery you have, and your comfort level, you will have local anesthesia to numb your mouth. You may also be given nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or an oral sedative.

You may or may not be able to drive yourself home, depending on your treatment plan. Ask your dentist or oral surgeon to confirm which option is best for you.

Once you have received the necessary medications, the dentist or oral surgeon will complete the extraction.

What To Expect After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

The first 24 hours can be the most difficult after having wisdom teeth removed. Depending on the type of extraction, you can expect to spend 1-3 days off work.

After having wisdom teeth removed, many people experience:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I drink water after wisdom teeth removal?

A: Yes. Drinking water is recommended, but avoid fruit juices or hot beverages for the first few days, as they can slow your healing.

Q: Can I smoke after surgery?

A: Don’t smoke after surgery as it may dislodge the stitches or blood clots that help you heal, causing a condition called dry Socket. A dry socket is very painful and causes delayed healing. Smoking can also cause bad breath and gum disease.

Q: When can I eat again and what?

A: This will depend on the nature of your surgery and your healing. On the day of your surgery, you may be able to tolerate soft foods such as soup or yogurt. Continue to eat these foods for the first few days.

Q: How long does it take for everything to heal?

A: Again, this will depend on the type of surgery you had, and your own healing process. It typically takes anywhere from 4 days to 1 week to feel better, and it can take weeks for your gums to heal completely.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare

Your dentist or oral surgeon will give you detailed care instructions to take home with you. Here are some common guidelines for wisdom teeth extraction care.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

It is very important to reduce the possibility of infection where your tooth was removed. Follow cleaning instructions carefully. Common directions include rinsing your mouth with a saline solution (salt water), and letting the water fall into the sink without spitting.

Once your mouth is more healed, you may resume normal brushing and oral hygiene, but be sure to avoid letting the toothbrush come into contact with your stitches.

Take Pain Relievers

Your dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe pain relievers. Take them as directed. If you find you are in a lot of pain and the medication isn’t helping, contact your dentist’s or surgeon’s office immediately.

Avoid Straws

Straws can create suction in your mouth that can loosen stitches or necessary blood clots in the area where your tooth was removed. This can also lead to a dry socket, which can be extremely painful.

Choose Your Food Wisely

Soft foods are best for the first few days. Avoid anything hard or crunchy like popcorn or potato chips. Healthy soups and stews, or smoothie bowls are best.

Get A Teabag

Tannic acid in tea can help blood clots to form. Many dentists recommend biting down on a moistened tea bag to help speed healing.


Wisdom teeth removal isn’t exactly a day at the beach, but by following your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions, it can go smoothly.

Remember to:

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery, if necessary
  • Plan to take it easy for 1-3 days following the surgery
  • Follow all wisdom tooth removal after care instructions carefully
  • Avoid drinking through straws, smoking, and spitting after surgery
  • Take your pain medications
  • Eat healthy, soft foods

Reach out for help if you need it. Here’s how to tell if you are having a dental emergency.

Still have questions? Drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you.