How Long Does Swelling Last After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer if you are wondering about how long does swelling last after wisdom teeth removal. Well, recovery varies from patient to patient, and usually, many people start feeling better within the span of just 2 weeks. However, the time period may extend if you had multiple third molars extracted or if any of the wisdom teeth are removed. Let’s discuss this further.

Swollen Gums after Wisdom Teeth Removal – Timeline

The extent of gum swelling depends on the severity of the surgery performed. If you spot puffiness around the mouth, cheeks, sides of the face, or even eyes, it is normal. You can take it as your body’s reaction to surgery and consequent repair.

After wisdom teeth removal, swelling can typically last for about 7-10 days, with full recovery taking up to 2 weeks. You can use ice packs in the meantime to deal with the pain that comes along with it.

Place ice packs on the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Make sure to use these cold compresses/ice packs while you are awake. Their usage produces optimal results right after the wisdom tooth extraction. Once it crosses the 24-hour mark, ice has no significant effect.

If a cold compress does not do the job during those 24 hours, and swelling or jaw stiffness is still there, you can apply moist heat to the sides of the face, which is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.

Expect your face to be swollen in the first 3-4 days post-surgery, as it is completely normal to have one side puffier than the other side.

Ways to Reduce Pain

Resting after any type of surgery is a given since your body requires time to heal. During the recovery period, there are quite a few practices that can help you speed up the healing process and reduce pain following wisdom teeth removal:

  • Take OTC (over-the-counter) painkillers every 6 hours as per requirement, or you can use them according to the instructions of your oral surgeon. Always take pain medicines with food to help prevent nausea.
  • Steer clear of strenuous activities for at least 3 days following your surgery unless your dentist tells you a specific time period.
  • Keep the gauze pad in place and bite it firmly down directly over the extraction site(s) to hold it in place. Check and replace them every hour. After you see no streak of blood in the gauze pad, they are no longer necessary.
  • Next, you need a saltwater mouth rinse for use after a day of wisdom teeth removal surgery. Swish, swirl, and spit gently to clean the mouth and increase blood flow, increasing the speed of healing.
  • Put an ice bag or cold compress on the affected side of your face for not more than 10 minutes at a time. Then another 10 minutes on the next.
  • Temporarily modify your diet and eat only soft foods for the first week post-surgery.
  • Steer clear of using a straw for 3 days after your surgery to prevent dry socket.
  • Make sure to keep your mouth and surgical area clean with gentle, regular brushing the day after surgery.
  • Lastly, no smoking or using vape for about a week as they contain nicotine and tar that delay healing and may cause dry sockets.

Closing Note

If you follow the instructions given by your oral surgeon, the recovery period will be smooth, and swelling after wisdom teeth removal will go down in no time. If you have more questions or queries, get in touch with Dr. Kirolls Ibrahim from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee, at Céline Dental for help. Dial (281) 262-2332 to schedule an appointment. Our team is just a call away to guide you through the recovery process so you can return to your normal life as quickly as possible.

Skip to content