How long does it take to recover/heal from wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom teeth extraction is a surgical procedure that involves removing structures of teeth, jawbone and sometimes gums. So, it is normal to have some post-operative swelling and pain/discomfort as part of the healing process.

Following the procedure, most feel a little sorry for themselves, particularly if multiple teeth have been removed.

Your treating dentist/surgeon will provide you with clear instructions on how to care for yourself after the extraction procedure.  Some instructions will be more specific to your particular case, so make sure you understand the instructions well and ask your dentist for a printout.

It can take up to 2 weeks on average for recovery post extraction, but as each day passes, the pain and swelling tend to subside and for most cases, it takes about 72-96 hours to feel a lot better.

The post-operative signs and symptoms felt, after the extraction, will vary from one patient to another, however, the following are commonly experienced after wisdom teeth extraction:

  • Swelling and bruising of the cheeks
  • Pain and discomfort at and around the extraction wound(s)
  • Stiffness in the jaw
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Some bleeding
  • Possible tingling in the lip/chin

Over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are the best options to help with the pain, however, if your dentist estimates your pain to be more severe, they may prescribe stronger painkillers.

If you are prescribed antibiotics or painkillers by the dentist, you should complete the course of medication they give.

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