Ways to Reduce Swelling after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Ways to Reduce Swelling after Wisdom Tooth Removal

February 21, 2019  | IN UPCOMING EVENTS

It’s not uncommon for teenagers to have their wisdom teeth removed as they come in, especially if they’re getting impacted or crowding other teeth and causing misalignment issues. However, there are also plenty of adults who elect to have their wisdom teeth removed later on.

For some, removing them is unnecessary if they grow fine and have no impact on other teeth. That said, the fact that they’re in the back of your mouth can make them hard to clean, leading to issues like cavities. At some point, it may be in your best interest to have them removed.

Whether you go under general anesthesia for this process or the extractions are simple enough that your wisdom teeth can be pulled like normal teeth with little more than Novocain, you will experience some downtime following the procedure. It generally takes at least two weeks for your mouth to fully heal, and you’ll have some swelling for the first 2-4 days following the extraction.

How can you reduce swelling and speed the healing process after tooth removal? You can take several steps to facilitate recovery and keep pain and swelling to a minimum.

Rest and Recover

This is very important – you must plan to rest for at least a few days following wisdom tooth extraction. It’s best to avoid strenuous activity and give yourself adequate time to heal. First and foremost, you need to make sure the bleeding subsides, and blood clots form so the sockets can start to heal.

If you’re up and at them the same day or the day after, you could reopen wounds and increase bleeding, healing time, and risk of infection. Spending a couple of days on the couch, packing your mouth with gauze, and taking other precautions is the best way to ensure proper healing and minimize swelling and potential discomfort.

Anti-Inflammatory Medication

After any surgery, pain symptoms are to be expected. With proper treatment, you can avoid the onset of pain. Anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen will help reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort, but depending on your threshold for pain, you may also want to take the painkillers your dentist prescribes.

Often, you can take them simultaneously or trade them off to maximize benefits. Some patients don’t need painkillers, and ibuprofen does the trick. You’ll want to ensure you start taking it before the anesthesia completely wears off and continue taking it at regular intervals after that. In other words, get ahead of the pain if you want to control it.


Swelling is a normal bodily response to trauma, such as tooth removal, but you can help control it in various ways. One of the best options is using ice packs, which will not only address the swelling but also help to numb the area if you’re experiencing some pain.

You never want to put ice directly on your skin, so wrap your ice pack in a thin towel. You can apply it for about 20 minutes if it’s comfortable and then remove it for about 20 minutes before reapplying. This could help immensely during the first couple of days after surgery.

Stick to Soft Foods

The last thing you want to do is stab your healing sockets with something hard or sticky, so eating only soft foods in the days following the removal of wisdom teeth is best. Cold, soft foods like ice cream, Jell-O, pudding, and yogurt can be especially soothing during the first couple of days, after which you can start adding mashed potatoes, pasta, eggs, and other soft foods that are more filling and nourishing.

Sipping milkshakes might be a good idea, but you must avoid using straws for at least a few days. Using a straw’s suction could damage blood clots in the sockets, causing them to come loose and set off bleeding again.

Clean Carefully

Cleaning can be tough for several days following oral surgery, so you’ll want to follow your dentist’s in Murrieta, CA, instructions to a tee. For the first few days, you’ll use saltwater rinses, after which you can probably begin brushing, as long as you’re careful to avoid the sockets. Your dentist may provide you with a small syringe that you can use to gently flush the area around the sockets to remove food and bacteria until they are fully healed.

Dental Implants

A Dental implant is a tooth made of a titanium post with a replacement tooth (crown) attached to the top. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth, anchor a dental bridge, or a full arch of teeth.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you’ve been told that you need to have one or more of your wisdom teeth removed by our dentist, you may be wondering, especially if you are not currently experiencing any painful symptoms. So, if you want your wisdom teeth removal visit StarWhite Dental.