This Is The Average Recovery Period For Wisdom Teeth Surgery

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website.
Medically reviewed by Othman Lahmaydi, RDH

Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step toward getting your wisdom teeth removed. As you prepare for the surgery, it’s important to understand what to expect during the recovery period.

The average recovery period for wisdom teeth surgery is about 2 weeks, although this varies depending on the specific case and the health of the patient. The wound left behind can take months to fully heal. Some discomfort in the days and weeks following the surgery should be expected.

You’ll need to avoid certain foods and adopt a few practices during the recovery period. So put on your patient coat and read on — we’ve got the answers to all your questions about wisdom teeth recovery.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Wisdom Teeth Surgery?

Redhaired ginger female with snow-white smile holding white wisdom tooth after surgery removal of a tooth

Luckily, we’re in the modern age of advanced medical technology, and surgeries are now more efficient and less painful than ever. The average recovery time for wisdom teeth surgery is around two weeks, but it’ll only take a few days to get your smile back!

Here’s a timeline of what you can expect following your operation:

  • First 24 hours: You may experience some swelling and bleeding for a few hours. Blood clots will form during this time.
  • 2-3 days: You’ll experience some residual swelling and moderate discomfort.
  • 3-7 days: The swelling should subside, and you may feel more comfortable. You should be able to eat a regular diet but may need to avoid foods that are too hard or chewy. You may also need to re-visit the dentist to remove any remaining stitches.
  • 7-10 days: Most of the swelling and pain should have gone away. You may still experience some tenderness in your gums, and your jaw may feel stiff, although you’ll barely feel it.
  • 10-14 days: You should feel almost entirely normal. The healing process is now complete, and you should be able to eat and chew normally. Visit the dentist again for a follow-up appointment.

How Painful Is the Recovery Process?

Unfortunately, there’s no pain-free way to have wisdom teeth removed — at least not yet. And even though the procedure is relatively quick, the recovery period will still be somewhat uncomfortable and painful.

You will likely experience some swelling and tenderness in the area where your teeth were removed, and your jaw and gums will be stiff. You may also experience some bleeding and soreness the first few days after surgery.

The first 24 hours is normally the most painful and uncomfortable, but the situation should be significantly better after the first week.

Normally, the best time to have your wisdom tooth extracted is when you’re in your late teens or early 20s. This is the time when wisdom teeth are more easily accessible and the recovery period is shorter. In addition, younger people heal more quickly than older adults.

The surgery itself will be less painful after the dentist gives you a dose of anesthesia. This can either be done with a local anesthetic or general anesthesia. In any case, the surgery should be relatively quick.

However, it’s important to note that if your wisdom teeth are impacted, both the surgery and recovery period may be a bit longer. This is because the teeth are more difficult to remove and require more complex surgery.

The good news is that you can take some simple measures to reduce the pain and discomfort during recovery. Your dentist may prescribe medication for a few days, or you can take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease your discomfort.

What Are the Best Pain Remedies to Use After Wisdom Teeth Surgery?

Cold COmpress on Toothache

Medication is often the first line of defense against pain and discomfort after wisdom teeth surgery. Your dentist will prescribe medications such as ibuprofen (on Amazon) or acetaminophen (also on Amazon) to relieve the throbbing pain. You should take these medications as directed and follow all instructions on how to use them safely.

Aside from the meds, your doctor will also likely recommend some simple home remedies. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • First things first: Get as much rest as possible. Avoid strenuous activities and make sure to get plenty of sleep.
  • Next, apply a cold compress (on Amazon) on your face for 15 minutes every hour to reduce swelling and numb the area during the first two days. Cold foods such as ice cream or frozen yogurt are also helpful in reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Use a pillow or adjusted bed to keep your head elevated when sleeping.
  • Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution several times a day to reduce the risk of infection. But don’t do this within the first 24 hours of surgery, as it can interfere with the clotting and increase bleeding.
  • Gently brush your teeth and gums after meals, being careful not to irritate the area around your extraction site.
  • Finally, stick to a soft and nutritious diet for the first few days after your surgery. These soft foods are easy to chew and swallow (a list is provided below).

What’s the Best Way to Keep the Swelling Down?

Proper home care is important for keeping the swelling down after wisdom teeth removal. Start by taking all of your medications as directed, and don’t skip any doses, even if your symptoms improve.

Keep your head elevated with pillows when lying down, and try to keep any activity to a minimum for the first few days following surgery.

Ice packs can help reduce swelling and pain. Apply them to your cheeks at 15-minute intervals throughout the first two days.

Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated to reduce swelling. Avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages, as these can irritate your mouth. Also, only eat soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing.

Which Foods Should You Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Surgery?

Speaking of foods, there’s a list of foods that you should eat after your wisdom tooth extraction and those that you must avoid. Chewing is an important part of your recovery process, but you’ll want to keep it to a minimum at the start.

Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Surgery

  • Soft-cooked vegetables
  • Cooked cereals
  • Mashed potatoes/ sweet potatoes
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Thin soups
  • Greek yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed bananas
  • Pudding
  • Noodles

Foods to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Surgery

  • Raw vegetables
  • Hard candy
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Chewy or sticky foods (e.g., caramels and gummies)
  • Chewy bread
  • Crunchy chips or crackers
  • Tough meats (e.g., steak)
  • Anything that requires a lot of chewing or strenuous biting
  • Straws (can cause dry sockets)
  • Alcohol and carbonated drinks

Most importantly, make sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for aftercare and call them if you experience any signs of complications.

The Final Word

A visit to the dentist may not be your favorite way to spend the day, but it helps keep your mouth healthy and can prevent bigger problems down the line. Removing wisdom teeth is often necessary to keep your mouth healthy and free of pain. Remember the tips above to keep swelling and pain down after your extraction.

Leave a Comment