What is the Recovery Time after Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that involves the extraction of the third molars, or wisdom teeth, from the back of your mouth. A wisdom tooth usually erupts between the late teens to early 20s and might cause problems because of the lack of space in the mouth.

This can lead to various issues such as overcrowding, an eruption at the wrong angle or partial eruption which can cause severe pain, difficulty chewing and in some cases, infections. Not everyone may need to get their wisdom tooth removed. If the tooth is healthy, positioned correctly and fully erupted, it does not cause pain or other dental issues.

If you have a painful wisdom tooth that needs to be extracted and you’re worried about recovery from wisdom tooth removal surgery, then read on to find out about the process, aftercare and recovery time. 

Taking Care of Yourself After Surgery

Wisdom tooth removal is an invasive procedure which sometimes involves cutting into the gums or removing the bone to extract the tooth. A local or general anaesthetic is given to numb the area before the surgery, ensuring you don’t feel any pain. The type of anaesthesia depends on the complexity of the case, and the time it will take to operate. After the surgery, the wound will usually be closed with dissolving stitches.

Generally, a wisdom tooth extraction takes about 30 to 60 minutes on average for 3 to 4 wisdom teeth. You won’t feel anything during the surgery because of the anaesthesia. After the numbing agent wears off, the area will feel sore, and you may experience some pain and swelling. There may be some bleeding for which you should use a cotton pad or gauze and bite down on it.

Even though you will be sore after the surgery, you can talk, but it’s advisable to not strain your mouth unnecessarily for a couple of hours after surgery. You can drink water after the surgery but don’t rinse your mouth for at least 12 hours, and avoid brushing and flossing for around 24 hours.  Don’t use a straw to drink the water as it can disturb the blood clot at the extracted area. Also refrain from smoking, alcohol, and hot drinks immediately after and the next few days. 

Recovery Time After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Recovery time is usually different for everybody and depends on how complicated the surgery was. Some people’s wisdom teeth are deep in the bone, which requires more digging to get to it, so the cut might be deeper and take longer to heal. While others may have a shallow wisdom tooth with shorter roots, so recovery may be quicker.

Generally, you will start feeling better after 7 days, even for severe surgeries. The pain and soreness may not be entirely gone, but they should have begun to heal. If the pain persists or worsens after a week, it’s best to visit your dentist immediately.

The dentist will always let you know what to expect after surgery because it varies from one person to another. But simple wisdom tooth extraction recovery is generally four to seven days, whereas complex ones run about a few weeks.

As soon as you feel your teeth are comfortable, you can gradually start eating moderate to hard food and resume normal activities. 

Tips to Speed Up Your Recovery

Proper aftercare after any surgery is vital to speeding up your recovery. It ensures that you heal well and avoid infection and further pain.

Here are some tips to speed up your recovery after wisdom tooth removal:


Your dentist will usually recommend eating cold liquids and foods like lemonade, icicles and ice cream. The sugar will give you energy, and the coldness will help control the bleeding and pain. We recommend eating lots of cool foods for the first day after surgery.

Immediately after the surgery and the next few days, it’s best to have a soft and liquid diet like soups, broth, yoghurt, pudding, pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables. This will give you the nutrients you need without having to chew. 

Cold Packs and Cold Compress

It is recommended to use cold packs or cold compress in the first couple of days after the surgery as they help to relieve pain and swelling. A cold compress can be as simple as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel. .

Go for Pasta or Noodles

As the treated area starts to heal, you can transition from a liquid diet to semi-liquid and soft foods. Pasta, noodles, scrambled eggs, bread, oatmeal and mac and cheese are all good options.  Just make sure any food you consume is not too hot and easy to chew, so it does not cause pain or rub against the extraction site. 

Tea Bags

You can also use tea bags to stop bleeding after wisdom tooth removal. Black tea has tannins which help in the formation of blood clots. It’s also an astringent that causes blood vessels to shrink and stop bleeding. Teabags can be used if you run out of gauze or as an effective remedy for stopping bleeding after wisdom tooth removal. 

On Painkillers

Your dentists will prescribe painkillers to help with the pain after the surgery. Take them after every 6 hours rather than waiting for them to hurt. Always consult your doctor before taking pain medications or any other type of medication. If the pain persists or increases in intensity, visit your dentist without delay. 

What Should You Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

There are some precautions you must take after wisdom tooth removal to ensure proper healing. Some of the things you should be careful about after a wisdom tooth extraction include:

  • Avoid food with seeds and grains such as quinoa, nuts, and rice grains (especially basmati rice), as they might get stuck in the wound
  • Do not exercise for the first few days—even heavy lifting. Keep it slow and avoid strenuous activity until you are healed
  • Don’t sleep in a flat position. Make sure you keep your head elevated with some pillows or support, as lying flat can cause bleeding
  • Brush your teeth on the second day. Generally, you can brush the other side. Once you can brush the wounded area, softly brush it until it recovers completely.
  • Stay away from hot foods and drinks in the first few days as they can disturb the blood clot and cause bleeding
  •  Don’t smoke or consume alcohol and carbonated drinks for the next couple of days because this can dislodge the blood clot and lead to bleeding

Wisdom Tooth removal in Blackburn 

Recovery after wisdom tooth removal does not take too long with the correct aftercare and precautions. Just follow the tips above and follow your dentist’s instructions, and you should be able to resume your daily activities in no time at all.

If you’re experiencing pain from a wisdom tooth and are interested in getting it removed, Whitehorse Dental can help. With in-depth consultations, honest advice and a team of trained dentists, we’ll make your wisdom tooth removal procedure as comfortable as possible. Along with careful monitoring, follow-up visits, and advice to help you heal well.

Book a consultation today.