Things you might experience after wisdom teeth extraction Skip to main content

Things you might experience after wisdom teeth extraction

Wisdom teeth extraction is a routine treatment performed on millions of people every year without incident, but as with any surgical procedure, there is a healing process.

To help you understand what is normal and what might be a cause for concern, here are a few things you might experience after your surgery.


Postop swelling will be present for almost all patients who have their wisdom teeth removed. Don’t be alarmed if the swelling increases on the second or third day. To reduce swelling, apply ice to the areas of your face outside the surgery site in twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off intervals, using a cloth to protect your skin from the ice pack.

Bleeding from the surgical site

It’s normal for some bleeding to occur off and on for several days after your wisdom teeth have been removed. However, if you are concerned that your bleeding is excessive, contact your oral surgeon for advice.


Patients experience different levels of postop discomfort depending on many factors, including the position of your wisdom teeth, number of teeth extracted, jaw size and more. Your doctor will prescribe medication to control discomfort in the days following your surgery.

A stiff jaw

To remove your wisdom teeth, your oral surgeon uses an instrument to hold your mouth open during the procedure. This means that your jaw may feel stiff and be hard to open all the way for a few days. Be patient and stretch your jaw slowly each day until you return to normal.

Bruising or other discoloration

Surgery can cause some bruising and skin discoloration around the surgical site. This is nothing to be concerned about and will go away on its own with time.

Holes in your gum line

Some patients are surprised to feel holes with their tongue in the sockets where their wisdom teeth used to be. This is normal and your gum tissue will fill in the holes over time.

Sutures in your mouth

It’s perfectly normal to find a small piece of dissolvable suture in your mouth. As long as finding the suture isn’t accompanied with a lot of bleeding or discomfort, it’s best to leave the suture in place.

Nausea or lightheadedness

Everyone’s reaction to having surgery is different. That’s why you should plan on taking it easy for a couple days after your appointment. If you feel weak or nauseous, it may simply be a sign that you need to rest. However, if you feel exceptionally faint, always err on the side of calling the office for advice.

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