Skip to main content

How to get a good night’s rest after wisdom teeth extraction

Giving your body an opportunity to rest and heal is an important part of recovering from wisdom teeth removal. Here are some tips to help you sleep soundly and comfortably following your oral surgery.

Plan ahead

Set up your bedroom before your procedure. Stack a few pillows up at the head of the bed to make it easy to elevate your head. While it can be difficult to sleep on your back if you’re a side or stomach sleeper, do your best to sleep on your back for one or two nights. Keeping your head elevated will reduce facial swelling and relieve discomfort as gravity helps to pull fluids away from the surgical site.

Remove gauze before hitting the hay

Be sure to stay awake long enough for the bleeding at the surgical site to stop so that you can remove the gauze you’ve been biting on.

Take your medication and ice

Take any medication prescribed by your doctor as indicated, even if you feel OK and don’t think you need it. It’s also a good idea to ice your face before going to bed to reduce swelling. Do not, however, fall asleep with an ice pack on your skin.

The couch is for resting, not sleeping

It’s a smart plan to set up your favorite sofa or recliner to relax and catch up on all your favorite TV programs while you heal, but it’s not a good idea to use these locations for shut eye. Sleeping on a couch or chair can make it more difficult to stabilize your head, especially if the material is slippery. If your head slides out of place, you could wake up with swelling or discomfort.

Don’t fight your tiredness

It’s normal to feel tired after wisdom teeth extraction. If you feel like going to bed early after returning home, don’t force yourself to stay awake. Getting the rest your body is asking for helps you heal more quickly.