Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery: What to Expect

At the very back of your mouth are a set of molars known as wisdom teeth. As one of the most common surgeries, you’re probably wondering what you can expect from the wisdom teeth removal recovery process. 

Most people develop wisdom teeth between the ages of 17-21, though some people never develop them at all. As these teeth emerge, many people don’t have room in their mouths for them. This can lead to a list of issues from pain to misalignment.

If this occurs, your dentist will probably recommend surgery to remove them. Don’t worry though! It’s a very manageable process with recovery usually lasting a week. Although if your wisdom teeth are impacted, recovery will take longer.

Dawson Dental are experts in making wisdom teeth removal recovery easy. Keep reading to find out more!

What to Expect for Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery

Wisdom teeth extraction is an outpatient surgery. That means that you arrive and leave on the same day of your surgery. Even in the worst scenarios, wisdom teeth extraction is considered minor surgery. If you get local anesthesia or sedation during your surgery, you’ll wake up in the dental chair not remembering the process. Or if you’re given general anesthesia, you’ll wake up in a recovery room.

As you slowly wake up and recover your senses, you will be groggy and sore. You’ll notice that you have some swelling as well. Once you have been given instructions and medication, and are feeling well enough, you’ll be sent home as a passenger for aftercare. If you have any questions about what to expect from your surgery, contact us here.

So what can you expect from your wisdom teeth removal recovery?

Day One of Recovery

As the anesthesia or sedation wears off and your swelling increases, you will feel weak, sore, and groggy. It’s a good idea to have someone to look after you for 24 hours after your surgery, if not longer. You can start using an ice pack immediately for pain relief, but follow your dentist’s instructions for medication.

It will probably take some time for you to get hungry, but make sure to stick to soft foods. And avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking. Oh, and even though you might be eating smoothies and milkshakes, don’t use a straw! The pressure in your mouth from suction is not good for healing and can cause pain.

Long Term Recovery

Most people recover from surgery within 3 to 4 days, with a week being the longest expected recovery time. However, it could take a bit longer if your teeth are impacted or come at an awkward angle. Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the teeth do not breach the gum line. The surgery to remove these teeth is a bit more invasive and takes a bit longer to heal.

Although the wound won’t completely heal for months, you can resume normal activities the day after surgery. You should avoid anything that can dislodge your stitches or disrupt the blood clot over your wound. During this initial healing period, you can develop an infection. To avoid this, your dentist may send you home with antibiotics, though not always. At least for a couple of days, stay away from:

  • strenuous exercise
  • smoking
  • spitting
  • using a straw

Once you get past a few days, you’ll notice that the pain and swelling have gone down a fair amount. After a week, there shouldn’t be any pain or bleeding. If you notice excessive pain or bleeding, make sure to call your dentist. There are a couple of complications you should look for:

  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • fever
  • ineffective pain mediation
  • worsening swelling
  • numbness
  • blood or pus in the nose
  • heavy bleeding

Don’t worry though, as these complications are rare. It’s always important to keep vigilant though!

Wisdom Teeth Removal Pain Relief

After your surgery, your dentist will send you home with specific medications and instructions. The best advice anyone can give you is to follow those carefully! With that said, you should follow a few general home care tips to improve the wisdom teeth removal recovery process.

  1. Rinse with salt water to keep the wound clean. Don’t spit out when you’re done! Just let the water flow out of your mouth.
  2. Gently dab your wound with gauze to absorb excess blood

When it comes to managing pain, you’ll either receive a prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully and contact your dentist if they aren’t working. Don’t forget, using an icepack greatly helps reduce initial swelling and pain. Also, if you are given antibiotics by your dentist, make sure to complete the entire round.

Post-Surgery FAQ

Are you looking for some quick info on what to expect after your surgery? Don’t worry– Dawson Dental has you covered.

When can I start eating after wisdom teeth removal?

Once the bleeding stops enough for you to swallow comfortably, you can start eating. Go easy on it to start!

What to eat after wisdom teeth removal?

Start with soft food at first. You should avoid chewing and sucking. Things like pudding, fruit sauce, smoothies, and cottage cheese are good starting points! And make sure to avoid spice, nuts, and straws!

Can I drink alcohol after wisdom teeth removal?

No! You definitely should not drink alcohol after your surgery. Especially while you are taking pain medication!

Does wisdom teeth removal hurt?

There’s no way around the pain and discomfort of this surgery. That being said, the surgery is minor and the pain is manageable with Tylenol.

Do wisdom teeth have to be removed?

Not always! If you’re one of the lucky few, you may have room in your mouth for your teeth. Better yet, you may not even grow any in!


TLDR: Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery with Dawson Dental

When it comes down to it, getting your wisdom teeth removed is a part of normal life. It’s a good idea to get them removed when you can because they can cause a lot of problems down the line. Remember when you get them removed, you can expect at least a few days of recovery. You have a couple of sedation and medication options to choose from, and a lot of soft food to eat!

Don’t be nervous about getting your wisdom teeth out. With the right dentist and info, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Make sure you rest and recover properly, prepare soft food beforehand, and have an ice pack ready. And remember to take a funny video of you waking up from surgery!

For the best dentists in Rosedale, downtown Toronto and the GTA, contact Dawson Dental at 1-855-406-2742. You can also contact us here. We are a full-service dental practice offering a broad spectrum of care. We have over 25 locations across Ontario to serve you best.