How to Recover Quickly After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out


I've had my wisdom teeth removed, and I will tell you what I did to ensure a healthy and speedy recovery.

Having Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out

In this article, we will be discussing the surgery to remove your wisdom teeth—and how to ensure a quick and healthy recovery (assuming you are having the procedure done under local anaesthetic).

I have just had the wisdom teeth from my lower jaw removed (I have none in the top jaw), so it seemed particularly pertinent to look into how best to recover from this small operation.

You will only be referred to have your wisdom teeth taken out if they are causing pain, are regularly becoming infected or are impacted — i.e., growing at a wrong angle and affecting other teeth or growing into the gum, making them hard to clean properly, or if they have crumbled.

I was initially referred for the surgery because one wisdom tooth had partially disintegrated, X-rays showed the other wisdom tooth was decaying, and both were partly impacted, growing into the gum rather than erupting properly. Between the time of my referral and the procedure, one did become infected, which was painful.

In the UK, you are very likely to have your wisdom teeth taken out in the hospital by a dental surgeon rather than by your local dentist. This is because the location of the wisdom teeth makes them more difficult to extract, and the lower wisdom teeth often have a more complicated root system than your other teeth. This also makes extraction harder. The advantage of having them pulled out in the hospital is that this is free at the point of service. However, you will have to wait. I waited four months between my initial dental appointment and the wisdom tooth removal date.

In most cases, removal of wisdom teeth takes place under local anaesthetic. You can opt for a general anaesthetic, but there are slightly greater risks if you do so, and recovery from a general anaesthetic takes longer than recovery from a local anaesthetic.

How to Prepare

  1. Before you have your wisdom teeth removed it is important to keep them as clean as possible and prevent infection. The dental surgeon won't remove your tooth whilst it is infected so if need be visit your dentist for an antibiotic prescription.
  2. You might find a mouthwash helps to keep your wisdom teeth clean and infection free if they are impossible to clean thoroughly with a toothbrush.
  3. Give up smoking - if you are a smoker it is worth giving up smoking at least a fortnight before you have your wisdom teeth removed. Non-smokers and ex-smokers have better circulation and immune systems (nhs.uk/livewell 2012) so you will be able to fight off infection and heal more efficiently after your wisdom teeth are removed.
  4. Stock up on soft foods that don't need chewing.
  5. Practice pendulum breathing. This is where you breath in counting to 5 and breath out counting to 5, breath in counting to 4 and breath out counting to 4 and so on — down to 1. This is a useful technique to use whilst you have the local anaesthetic injections.
  6. Take a bottle of water with you to the hospital - having your wisdom teeth removed can leave you with a very dry mouth.
  7. If you are going to the hospital alone, ask a friend if they will pick you up and take you home after the operation. You may not feel well enough to travel alone and you certainly shouldn't drive a car for a few hours following a local anaesthetic. Also the local anaesthetic will make it impossible to take clearly for a few hours, which would make ordering a taxi difficult.
  8. Stock up on painkillers. It is ideal to have one which is ibuprofen based and one which is paracetamol based.
A difficult lower jaw wisdom tooth to extract. This came out in 3 pieces. Note the decay at the crown end (left) and the hooked root (right).

A difficult lower jaw wisdom tooth to extract. This came out in 3 pieces. Note the decay at the crown end (left) and the hooked root (right).

An easy lower jaw wisdom tooth to extract. This came out in 2 pieces. Note the crown which had partially crumbled prior to being removed.

An easy lower jaw wisdom tooth to extract. This came out in 2 pieces. Note the crown which had partially crumbled prior to being removed.

The Operation

The worst part of the operation is the local anesthetic injections into your mouth. You will have 3 for each wisdom tooth that is removed. This is where the pendulum breathing will come in useful. There is no point trying to pretend the injections won't hurt, but doing pendulum breathing whilst the local anaesthetic is being injected will help.

The anaesthetic will completely numb the area around your tooth - the dental surgeon will test this before proceding. A straight forward tooth will be removed in 5 minutes. Top jaw wisdom teeth are usually straightforward. A wisdom tooth with a complicated root system or significant decay can take 45 minutes to remove. For my wisdom tooth removal the first tooth took nearly 40 minutes from injections to completion but the second one only took 5 minutes.

If the first tooth has been difficult to remove the surgeon will offer you the option to have the second one removed at a later date.

During the operation you will feel tugging and pressure, but not pain. You will hear cracks and crunches but this is nothing to be alarmed by. If the surgeon has to cut into the gum to remove the tooth you will receive stitches - I had thee stitches on one side. If one of the teeth breaks through the dentin you will be given a prescription for an antibiotic to reduce the chance of infection.

Tips for a Quick Recovery

There are plenty of things you can do to speed your recovery, but it is important to be realistic. If your wisdom teeth were quick to extract you will recover faster then if one of more of your teeth were difficult to extract.

Immediately after the operation:

  1. When you get home, take a dose of ibuprofen and rest.
  2. Two hours later have a small liquid meal such as a smoothie or soup at room temperature and a dose of paracetamol – this will act as an anti-inflammatory as well as a pain killer. Do not eat hot or cold food; it will make your mouth hurt more.
  3. If you have been issued with a prescription for antibiotics, take these as instructed.
  4. If any of the tooth sockets bleed fold up some gauze or a cotton handkerchief, place it in the socket and bit down on it to apply pressure, for 15 minutes

The day after the operation:

  1. Most people will need to take at least one day off work. If your teeth were difficult to remove and your face is very swollen, you may need to take up to 5 days. You should spend this day resting.
  2. Continue to alternate a dose of ibuprofen with a dose of paracetamol. Continue to take your antibiotics as instructed.
  3. Mix a teaspoonful of salt in with a pint of hot water and rinse your mouth with this solution after meals and before going to bed. Try to keep the solution around the empty tooth sockets for half a minute.
  4. Continue to eat soft foods at room temperature, such as rice pudding, soup, finely sliced or mashed banana.

Two days after the operation:

  1. Experiment by eating harder foods — perhaps starting with bread soaked in soup, moist cake or pears. You should also be able to have hot food and drinks without discomfort.
  2. Start to reduce the number of painkiller doses you take, but continue to take your antibiotics as instructed.
  3. Continue to rinse your mouth with salt water solution after meals and before bed.
  4. Take some gentle exercise such as a walk, but avoid doing anything very strenuous as your body still needs its reserves to continue the healing process.

How Will You Feel Afterwards

The Same Day:

For around 3 hours your mouth will feel numb and it will be hard to speak coherently. I couldn't even tell if my tongue was poking out of my mouth or not and felt like Herman Munster - as though my lower jaw was enormous and square. I had numbness as far as my earlobes. You may have a very dry mouth and be able to taste blood especially if the surgeon had to cut into your gums. You will be glad of the water you brought with you to drink but are advised not to swill and rinse your mouth out because it is important for any blood to form a clot.

After that, you are likely to have some swelling — especially if a tooth was difficult to remove. You are likely to feel a bit cold because of the shock of having a small operation.

The Next Day:

You are likely to feel tired and headachy from the local anaesthetic. You will only be able to open your mouth part way. If your tooth was easy to extract you may have minimal swelling, however for a difficult tooth you could have some swelling under your chin and around your jaw and cheek. Eating will be uncomfortable. I have found it less painful than a toothache from an infected tooth.

Day 2 and onward:

The swelling will begin to go down and you will be able to open your mouth wider. Eating will become easier.

Day 7:

If you have had stitches they will be dissolvable and should start to break down. This can take several weeks. By now the swelling should have gone.

If you are worried at any point phone the hospital dental department — they will give you the number before you leave. If you live in the UK you could alternatively phone NHS direct on 0845 4647.

Be prepared to get some swelling. On the left side of the picture you can see that the right side of my face (which had the difficult tooth) is swollen

Be prepared to get some swelling. On the left side of the picture you can see that the right side of my face (which had the difficult tooth) is swollen

Wisdom Tooth Removal: Tips for a Quick Recovery

Before the operationDuring the operationAfter the operation

Stop smoking

Use pendulum breathing to reduce feelings of stress and pain

Alternate doses of ibuprophen with paracetamol

Stock up on soft foods and have a bottle of water to take to the hospital


Rinse your mouth with salty water

Arrange for a friend to collect you from the hospital


Eat soft foods such as soup and smoothies at room temperature

Practice pendulum breathing


Rest - you will probably need to take at least one day off work.



Take antibiotics if instructed to do so by the dental surgeon.

  • Wisdom Tooth Removal - NHS Choices
    Find out everything about removing wisdom teeth, including why it needs to be done, how it is performed, the recovery period and complications. Plus links to other useful resources.
  • How to find an NHS dentist
    For UK readers, find out how to find an NHS dentist, including where to get help if you have difficulties finding one in your area.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


nayana on March 20, 2019:

Today is day 5 of getting my two wisdom teeth removed on my right side but still feeling pain and swelling on my chin and bottom guns..is there anything I need to be concerned about?

Tia on August 27, 2017:

Today is day 5 of getting my two wisdom teeth removed on my right side but still feeling pain and swelling on my chin and bottom guns..is there anything I need to be concerned about?

Potego on July 09, 2017:

Hi. Thanks for this.

Had my 2 upper wisdom teeth out last Friday. My right side of my face is swollen.. I take ibuprofen and antibiotics. Today is day 2... I have been going to work since the day I did operation. Hope to be well again in the next few days.

Sharon Kavhu on June 12, 2017:

Thank you for sharing this useful information. I had my wisdom tooth removed four three days ago, the dentist said it was impacted. I went through all that you shared, mine took more time and if i open my mouth wider, i still feel some pain. So what happens if you do not keep the blood clot thinking that it will cause some infection?

Jack Simon on December 28, 2016:

Thanks for sharing huge information related to wisdom teeth removal.

Napoli Singh on October 30, 2016:

What if I stopped rinsing my mouth with salty water after the second day and I only put ice pack not a heat pad ?

Ivis Burris on October 20, 2016:

I just had oral surgery this past Monday. I had an impacted wisdom tooth located in the lower jaw on the right side that had 2 be removed also on the left side the tooth beside where the impacted wisdom tooth use 2 be located had 2 be removed. Upper jaw on left the back tooth had 2 be shaved down. After surgery i had mild 2 moderate pain on my left side but the rite side where the wisdom was removed oh my GOODNESS the scale rate was plus 10. Tylenol worked wonders. The next day pain lessen. The current pain 3 days later can never compair to the AGONY OF DEFEAT I felt when my tooth would ache. University of Maryland located in Baltimore City did an EXCELLENT JOB. This experience has been much different from my experience seven years ago.

One satisfied dental patient. Oh did I mention I'm in a wheelchair, I have MD & I have a Tracheostmy. I might didn't spell that correctly but i think u guys get message. I may have a lot of challenges but everything worked out well. Thank God for praying hands. I hope this helps some. The article above is presise & 2 the point.

Sabrina on May 13, 2015:

I got all 4 removed on a Friday. Everything went well. Now it's Tuesday and I'm so dizzy all the time. I wake up and I'm fine for about an hour than I have to lay down because moving makes me feel like I'm being pushed. Is this normal ? Should I call the dentist

Ken Williams on July 03, 2014:

Must read for anyone who has to get theirs out. Some sound, valuable advice, keeping it clean is important and the bottle of water afterwards will be a lifesaver!

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on March 25, 2014:

Interesting Hub. I think all experiences will vary. I do feel that it is important that you get someone who has preformed a lot of tooth extractions. The more experience...it seems like the easier it will be. The oral surgeon who did mine was very experienced and gave me a ton of information before and after the procedure. I had, I think one of the most positive experiences. I did not have any pain afterwards, hardly any bleeding, and was chewing solid food by the second day. My cheeks/jaw did not swell much and I was climbing the ladder helping my husband remove leaves from the gutter within eighteen hours. The only catch is... you have to follow the care follow up instructions to a tee. Have a wonderful week :).....ps I never had to take antibiotics...salt water usually helps with the germs and on top of that I did rinse with an aneseptic as instructed.

Hershey on March 20, 2014:

I go next week to hAve all 4 of my. Wisdom teeth extracted the bottom two are horizontally impacted which are harder to extract I have to go to the hospitAl under General anesthesia any helpful pre/post_opt instructions that someone had to learn from experience to do or not to do? What test are taken before surgery?

greeneyedblondie on March 05, 2014:

I need to have my wisdom teeth removed at some point. We can't wait for them to erupe though because there is no gum left for them to erupt to! Not looking forward to this in the future.

Musaxe on September 27, 2013:

Four wisdom tooth removed in one hit, all impacted however required basic surgery to remove em all. My advice to anyone who is going through the same dental operation, careful where you bite right after surgery. Due to numbness I ended up biting both sides of my cheeks really hard. Now I'm recovering from my surgery plus these huge bite marks on both sides of my face.. All in all, there isn't much to tell here besides a bit of blood and pain here and there. Like all other stories, rest and gentle care goes a long way.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on July 13, 2013:

If you have a good doctor, you don't get the nasty mess you see in the picture above. My oldest son had a very clean extraction, even though his wisdom teeth were severely impacted. The teeth came out whole, with no unsightly meat or strings attached to them. My son recovered quickly. I think the most important thing a patient can do is research the oral surgeon thoroughly. Because of insurance constraints, sometimes people don't have this option, but very often insurance won't pay for oral surgery anyway.

Java on May 18, 2013:

Wow.. I guess UK medicine is not as advanced as US medicine.. just had mine taken out a day ago. Given more than 3 shots each, I'll tell you that (had at least 8 on just one tooth.) If you're limited to three and have a low tolerance to anything pain related- you're gonna feel it. My doctor also made very sure that I DIDN'T feel the injections. I was numb and pain free for everything. I went in same day that my one wisdom tooth broke.. no waiting.

A few things.. it's good to do ice and ice cold foods (you mentioned it wasn't..) as it helps form clots. It's like putting pressure or a cold compress over a bruise. You should also NOT use anything hot- hot salt water, hot compress, etc. after for a few days. That does not promote clotting and is actually sometimes painful. Ice cold salt water, although hardly broken down, is better.

You should also avoid sugars for at least a week (you listed it ok after three days.. when sugar probably is the culprit to things like decay, cavities, etc. in the first place. Plus, sugary food doesn't help you, at all.) Stick with a detox or ultra high in nutrition diet for about a week. It helps your tooth by helping your body.

Sleep is good. You DON'T have to sleep propped up. Not sure where this myth came from- if anything, that doesn't help blood circulation.

I had a more difficult surgery but the doctor said patients had a lot of success with the methods he listed- and I did, as well.

kikibruce from New York on April 07, 2013:

My impacted wisdom teeth were taken out and I quickly developed dry sockets. My whole face hurt. I went back to the doctor and he put some kind of plug with meds in the hole and the pain went away. My roommate was scared to get hers out after my experience!

rachel on March 17, 2013:

I'm only 13 years old. I had all 4 Wisdom Teeth taken out at once under General and had my 12 year molars uncovered on Friday. My wisdom teeth were causing them not to come in and I need them to come in for my braces. The day of the surgery when I got home I had some applesauce and bread. I then took a pain pill. Not even 20 minutes later I got sick from all the blood swallowed during surgery. I thought that I was done after that.. Not. 12 hours after the first time it finally ended. I can now eat soft foods and open my mouth a bit. It's now Sunday but my face is so swollen I refuse to go to school if my face is still very swollen. According to this hub I'm probably not going. My bottom of my mouth is the only pain I feel. It's like I didn't even get my top ones out. Thanks for all this useful information. It has helped me a bunch. But there is this one part in my mouth that is all purple. I believe it is because I keep biting down on it. Is this bad or normal? I need an answer. Thanks!

dawn on March 14, 2013:

Hi! Went this morning and had my lower right wisdom removed. He had to cut the gums because the tooth was impacted, slightly infected as well as mostly broken. It gave the dentist a hard time getting it out. After about an hour from injections to walking out, I was glad to have it gone. But now that I have feeling back, it pretty well suck. Lol. I found that hub to be very helpful and informative. Wish there were more of these on a wide range of subjects. thank you for putting this out into the world for those such as me who need this information.

Yvonne Spence from UK on March 12, 2013:

Thank goodness (or rather thank you!) for this hub. I had a wisdom tooth filled a few weeks ago but it was still causing pain, went back today and the dentist removed it there and then. I remembered your hub and now I know what to do. The first thing will be to put my feet up on the sofa and rest!

rudy, jr on December 13, 2012:

I just had my bottom wisdom tooth pulled out earlier this morning and it only took about five minutes for him tobpull it out..it hurts a lot and im wondering if because the procedure was so quick he didn't give me a prescription? Im 20 yrs old and have had three wisdom tooth pulled out in the past but have never been in so much pain after

Jane on December 10, 2012:

Hi there! I commented earlier, just wanted to say that I can now open my mouth. Anyone whose mouth is shut closed it is very important to open it otherwise it will become a larger problem. What you can do is put two fingers between your front teeth and gently push them apart until your mouth is open the entire way. It may take a couple of hours or a couple of days but it is VERY important to exercise the jaw. By drinking a hot drink it will loosen the muscles. You should be able to open your mouth by the fourth day. I hope everyone is recovering well xx

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 10, 2012:

Let me add on physiology: some people maybe would be talking the anatomy of the nervous system, anatomy yet applies mostly to dissecting dead bodies in specialist terminology. Physiology is about the living. :)

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 10, 2012:


I'm not wrong. You say, 'most people recover from it'.

Who or what would make the statistics about those to lose their speech abilities? Those who do not recover become the statistic.

'o.4% of the time', you say - would you be part the statistic and say it does not matter? Knowing there could be a safer way, what would you choose?

On physiology and the nervous system: what do you mean by the tongue nerve at all?

I comment because some of the comments here look like from distressed people and I'd hope to be possibly of help. You?

Emma on December 09, 2012:

teresa you are wrong, joan is right. most people recover from it. And the tongue nerve runs along the jaw, i just got my wisdom teeth out and my oral surgeon told me. Also why are you commenting? You said earlier you never got your wisdom teeth out....

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 09, 2012:

Looking back (Joan, both wisdom teeth taken out): it's probably good to have an extraction before a weekend and on one side of the mouth.

Analgesia will work for 3-4 hours. Have painkillers ready.

It's really important to have the procedure on one side of the mouth only. The wads separate your tongue from the procedure area and push it to the other side of your mouth. This allows the tongue to remain uninfluenced.

The funny thing is how you don't feel with your gums and/or palate, cheeks, and part your lips after the thing; this goes after a few hours. The following day you should be able to speak normal.

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 09, 2012:

I always had plenty of this dentist stuff - a mouthful of wads, really - to separate my tongue from the gum and the tooth before and during any procedure.

After, the tongue worked normal, just the rest of the mouth needed to get back in touch. ;)

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 09, 2012:


Tongue innervation does not belong with the gums. If you had your tongue innervation damaged during the surgery, there might no way to get back.

Should there be an inflammation going on, react right now, go see a doctor, before your tongue nerves really get damaged. Nerve ends actually don't 're-grow'.

joan on December 09, 2012:

Hi Layla,

Did you get your bottom wisdom tooth out? Because the nerve for the tongue runs along the bottom of your jaw and it can be bruised during surgery. You may have a numb tongue but it will only last a couple of weeks maximum. Very very rarely is it permanent (o.4% of the time- and that is normally only due to severe complications during surgery.) You will be fine and it should be feeling better really soon. All the best xxx

Layla on December 09, 2012:

Hi ..

i need a help

i had a surgery for my wisdom tooth 11 days before .. and wfter i did it till now i can't feel my tongue , and i feel like its burned all the time , im scary coz i think the nerve of my tunge is damaged , but the doc told me he is sure the nerve is ok , and i have to wait more weeks , and he gaves me a kortizone pills 20mg per day

so plz can u advise me if u know my prolem !!

Jane on December 09, 2012:

I got mine out on friday (now monday)- jaw feels stiff and I can barely fit food in. I constantly get nauseous and can't eat anything. I have tried mashed potato, stewed apple, icecream etc but i can barely fit it in my mouth. I am just so hungry, what can I do? When can I eat solid foods again? Thanks! x

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 05, 2012:

@nettlemere and Michelle,

Again, another missing element (shouldn't be many more, I hope). You take your body temperature after a procedure.

I prefer the armpit. Oral temperature is usually a bit higher, as for taking it in the ear - don't try to make me go through the horror of minding my eardrum. ;)

40 Celsius requires immediate intervention. Brain tissue may begin to deteriorate with 42 Celsius.

I don't mean to scare, I mean to provide the possibly necessary info.

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 05, 2012:


It could be good to try for an x-ray anyway: Roentgen is not very healthy, but it's not going to damage you with a single tooth shot.

Mind your body temperature. Teeth are close to the brain. You need to react and bring the temperature down if you get 40 Celsius high - I've lived in Europe, can't make it to other units right now.

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on December 05, 2012:

Hi Michelle - I'm glad you took yourself back, even if it does prove to be ok and just a bit slow to go down, it's better to feel reassured rather than very anxious that it has gone wrong.

Michelle on December 05, 2012:

Thanks for the comments. I went back to the dental hospital today, he didn't seem overly concerned with the swelling and said there were no obvious signs of infection so i haven't been given antibiotics. He has given me an appointment to go back on Monday for an X-ray if there isn't a significant improvement over the next 4days though. I guess that would show up if there are any bits of tooth left in it or if there has been damage to my jaw. I do feel like I have been beaten up!

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 04, 2012:


Thinking about what I've read so far - I've been also a medical translator - if there are fragments of tooth bone remaining in the jaw bone, you might need the socket re-opened for the bits to be taken out. The jaw bone has a different structure from the tooth bone.

You might not need anesthesia. Systemically, you can have ibuprofen+codeine and paracetimol before the procedure. Locally, you should get a surface desensitizer and an injection. They work on the nerve endings in the inflamed area. General anesthesia happens to be more and more limited in application due to its side effects.

I hope it's not too bad. :)

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 04, 2012:


I never had a 'hard swelling', my knowledge would be a bit theoretical, but you sure go see a doctor, maybe seeing another dentist would be better.

You can have an x-ray to check if there would not be any parts of the tooth remaining in your jaw bone. Intense swellings happen to be indicative of such problems.

Careful with antibiotics - bacteria develop immunity fast. Necessarily have a swab.

Use a herbal mouthwash. Mint, camomile, and thyme together can work really well. Naturally, use a tepid infusion. :)

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 04, 2012:


Now you know what to never let happen again - the procedure without proper analgesia. I learned trial and error, too. Basically, I resorted to private healthcare. The spray should be available generally - it really helps. :)

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on December 04, 2012:

Have they given you antibiotics to take as a precaution? otherwise it does sound fairly normal - if they had a job on the get the tooth out it is somewhat like being beaten up from a recuperation point of view and the swelling can take days to start going down. Don't hesitate to go back to the dentist or to give them a call if you are worried.

Michelle on December 04, 2012:

Hi, I had my lower left wisdom tooth taken out on Friday morning, it's now Tuesday. It was impacted so took the dentist a while to get it out with lots of pushing and pulling. Although it felt ok at the time my cheek and jaw are now extremely swollen and hard (probably at its worst now). I am alternating cocodamol 30mg (had to get from the doctors as over the counter wasn't strong enough) with ibuprofen but still really uncomfortable and fed up. Does anyone know if this is normal and how long it will last? I had to have dissolvable stitches and they look healthy and pink so don't think there's an infection as such, I'm more worried that they have damaged my jaw. I've never had anything done like this so a bit worried.

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on December 03, 2012:

They didn't give me the desensitising spray. I would have welcomed it if they had for sure!

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 03, 2012:

One more missing element - you get a desensitizng spray on your gum before the painkiller injection, this is probably the regular practice, may 'go without saying'.

Yes, the herbs really work. Thank you for your answer. :)

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on December 03, 2012:

That sounds like a really good combination of herbs for a healing mouthwash Theresa.

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on December 02, 2012:

I didn't add - I never had a wisdom tooth taken out, I know it's coming.

I had a few extractions (teeth pulled out). The local analgesia is not really painful, you just need to realize you're gonna feel a prick in the gum.

I never let anything but a mirror in my mouth without analgesia - I hate pain.

Importantly, I always mouithwashed with herbs. Mint, camomille, and thyme. I never had problems healing.

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on December 02, 2012:

Hollie that sounds horrible and as though you've got an infection in it. I hope the penicillin starts doing the trick quickly and the pain decreases soon.

hollie on December 01, 2012:

Just had my wisdom tooth out two days ago and my ear hurts my throat, and my neck. feels like it's difficult to breath on one side. I've taken oxycod, and now on penicillian. WOW this is so uncomftable.

skuan on November 23, 2012:

Evie, you might have dry socket, which means the blood clot was lost somehow. Dry socket tends to happen after the 2nd day of the operation.

If you can, look into the mirror to see if the spot where your wisdom tooth was is now an empty hole, not filled with red stuff (which is the blood clot).

Dry socket mainly occurs if you used a straw to drink liquids, if you drank hot liquids that dissolved the blood clots, if you smoked or had alcohol, if you blew your nose, if you are coughing, or if you used mouthwash that was too strong for the blood clots to handle (you should only be using warm salt water rinses). Those are the main causes.

When you rinse your mouth with salt water, make sure to do it gently; just gently tilt your head side to side and then let the water just drool out of your mouth instead of spitting it out since spitting can dislodge the blood clots.

I read all of that information on various sites; people who have experienced dry sockets say that no painkillers can really kill the pain, so my advice for you would be to go to your dentist/doctor and have them check. They should be able to put some medicated gauze in the sockets to immediately soothe the pain.

It is also possible that it's an infection instead of dry sockets. Whatever it is, I would suggest you to go to the dentist/doctor as soon as you can. I wish you good luck in your recovery!!

Evie Stavropoulos from Werribee, Victoria on November 22, 2012:

I am pregnant and just had my top right and bottom right wisdom tooth taken out about 4 days ago, I'm in so much pain still and can't take the usual pain killers... Any advice on what else I could do for the pain??

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on November 22, 2012:

Thanks JP - I've zapped it!

Jp on November 22, 2012:

I have found it less painful then toothache from an infected tooth


Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on November 22, 2012:

You're right teresa - they can come in useful in some cases and don't always cause problems. Mine only came out because they went rotten due to being impossible to clean because they hadn't emerged properly.

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on November 21, 2012:

Let me add, I had to have my 7 removed, it was actually the dentist's fault. The 8 took the place - still is there.

Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on November 21, 2012:

You don't always have to remove the tooth number 8. Especially if you have dental deficiencies, the number 8 will take the place of the number 7 - for years.

I have all my 8s - for the time being. :)

Gail Louise Stevenson from Mason City on November 21, 2012:

Your welcome, Its better to send people to the hospital to have the wisdom teeth pulled out, most likely. Afterwards, I remember that I did feel cold, and its was done in July.

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on November 21, 2012:

Thank you for commenting Gail - it's interesting to hear that you had yours done at the Dentist's office. I think that used to happen in the UK, but now they tend to send people to hospital for it.

Gail Louise Stevenson from Mason City on November 20, 2012:

I had the 4 wisdom teeth pulled out at a dentist's office years ago. After they were pulled the dentist put gause in my mouth and I had to keep my mouth shut for 45 minutes. I didn't feel any pain when they were pulled, but I could hear them being extracted. The sockets bled pretty good. It hurt after the novacaine wore off. I'm glad I had the 4 teeth removed, so that they couldn't cause trouble in the future. Very interesting hub!

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on November 18, 2012:

Sorry to hear you're having such a tough time with it Laura. It sounds as thought you're going to have to be very careful with what you eat for the next few days, so as not to make it hurt even more.

Laura on November 17, 2012:

I had my lower two wisdom teeth out on Thursday.... After garbling a load of rubbish to the nurses after a GA, I got sent home... It's now early hours of Sunday morning and the pain is so horrific I can't sleep - I'm taking diclofenac and paracetamol but nothing appears to be touching the pain - the swelling is only just starting to come up and I look like a well fed hamster! (Not attractive) I know I had some bone cut and some nasty roots to contend with but I can honestly say, dislocating my shoulder was less painful!!!

My words of advice: prepare for pain but it'll be worth it!

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on November 11, 2012:

AJM - sounds like you've had a very nasty time with your wisdom teeth, a good idea to have them all out at once though - at least you won't have to go through the recovery period a second time. I hope the pain eases up soon.

AJM on November 10, 2012:

Hi all. Good stories here. I just had all four of mine out under general on the NHS. First went to my dentist in March (now Nov!!) And first had trouble with them in May last year.

After about two years of aches and pains and moderate misery they're gone at long last!

The worst parts of wisdom tooth stories in my opinion;




Mine got infected early this year due to a gum flap and some meat got stuck back there....yeah nasty i know.

It hurt like hell made feel really poorly and i was bleeding profusely at the time. Felt like dracula it was quite grim. Even my dentist leaped back in shock when she saw the infection.

I was referred to hospital and had my surgery this monday. I opted for general because im not a big fan of having needles poked into my gums.

So after a 5hr wait i went under...didn't feel a thing but woke up in super pain feeling groggy. My lower two were a pig to remove according to the surgeon and 5 days later im still hurting...i think they had to drill a lot of my jawbone out to remove it.

All i can say is Codeine, Ibuprofen and Paracetomol will be your best friends for at least a week if you have this done.

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on September 26, 2012:

Hi Terry - water in the socket shouldn't cause any problem. It is worth rinsing your mouth out with salt water - 1 teaspoon to a pint of warm water a couple of times a day after eating. Try keeping the solution in the sockets for a minute before spitting out. I hope it heals quickly for you.

Terry on September 25, 2012:

I am a 61 year old male. I visited an oral surgeon today to have an upper wisdom tooth extracted. It had a cavity and my dentist said it was best just to pull it. I'm six hours into recovery and seem to be doing well but I have a question. I am drinking water only when I take an antibiotic pill and a pain killer every four to six hours. I got water into the socket both times I've drank the water. Will this be a problem, like cause an infection, or prevent healing in any way? I am using gauze to try to stop the bleeding. Thanks for any information you are able to provide.

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on September 10, 2012:

Usually they use dissolvable stitches which my dentist said would take up to 2 months to dissolve, but do check with your dentist if you don't know what type of stitches have been used, because if they are non soluble stitches they will need to be taken out.

Rachel on September 10, 2012:

I just had my all 4 of my wisdom teeth extracted, 2 was gone through normal extraction(upper), the other 2 was surgery(lower). I had the GA instead of LA. 7days after my operations, I was required to go back to my dentist to have my stitches removed, but I didn't went. This happened like only 1 week plus ago. I would like to know if anything would happened to my gums, like having the stitches stucked inside of it and my gums would have some disease or whatsoever????

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on September 02, 2012:

Thanks for your comment Becky - I agree that not smoking seems to crucial for an easier recovery.

Dust - I hope your mouth has healed up comfortably now and I'm delighted you found this useful.

dust on August 04, 2012:

Just had 4 wisdom teeth removed three days ago. Very swollen and in pain but This was very informative thankyou! & glad I found this! Hope everyone a speedy recovery.

Becky Bruce from San Diego, CA on August 04, 2012:

rjbatty, When I had my wisdom teeth taken out a few years ago it was a complete nightmare!!!! Most people do not have the same issues as me- for whatever reason. I didn't get an infection or anything but it was just so painful!! I would never want to relive this haha but great hub, voting up :) Also, you're tip to stop smoking it's a wise one... I've known a few people in the past who didn't listen to that warning and they got dry socket- which I hear is horribly painful.

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on July 20, 2012:

rjbatty, thank you for adding such an important and heartfelt warning on the dangers of leaving impacted wisdom teeth in. I'm very sorry you're having such a horrendous time as a result of your and hope the next round of surgery successfully gets rid of your cancer. Very best wishes.

rjbatty from Irvine on July 20, 2012:

I was about eighteen when I had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled at the same time under general anethesia. I had no choice, as they were impacted. Afterward, my face swelled to the size of a pumpkin and I was in excruciating pain for about two weeks. I was popping Darvon like they were M&Ms. At one point the stitches in my upper jaw failed and I had to return to the oral surgeon because of excessive bleeding.

Fast forward a few decades. I noticed that the gum tissue at the back of my upper-right jaw was turning gray. I went to a maxilliofacial surgeon, had a biopsy done and learned I had a fairly unique type of cancer called amelio blastoma. I asked the surgeon what can cause such a thing. He replied that no one knew with certainty but the most likely trigger is having impacted wisdom teeth.

I have already undergone three surgeries, which removed two molars and an amount of bone -- and I'm now facing my fourth surgery, as the damn disease keeps recurring. They tell me this next surgery will have to be "radical," meaning that some sizable portion of my upper jaw will have to be excised.

I will need a maxilliofacial surgeon, a reconstructive surgeon and a pathologist all in the operating room at the same time -- first to determine how deep to burrow depending on what the pathologist finds microscopically as chunks of myself are put to his/her testing -- then the plastic surgeon to reconstruct the bone that has been removed.

I'd like to ignore the whole thing but the disease is only inches from moving into my brain. A unique feature of amelio blastoma is that it isn't malignant but locally highly "aggressive," as the doctors use the term. It kills off healthy cells relentlessly until EVERY one of the diseased cells is removed. This proves to be a huge challenge for the surgeons and pathologists. The "rule of thumb" that the surgeons use is to cut well beyond where they suspect the margins of affected tissue are located. Thus, they end up removing healthy tissue/bone as a safety precaution. The pathologists are challenged because they have to look at swaths of tissue/bone and ensure there is no sign of the disease anywhere near the outer edges. They have been wrong three times in the past, so heaven only knows how this fourth surgery will turn out in the long run.

The message here is for anyone diagnosed with impacted teeth. If you start to feel ANY discomfort as your wisdom teeth descend, have them removed asap.

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on May 11, 2012:

Thank you teethpro - they are very pesky for getting hidden and causing trouble. I'm glad your extraction went well though.

teethpro on May 11, 2012:

I have my wisdom tooth operated because it was hidden deep inside the gum. Luckily I didn't really feel much pain after my tooth being removed. Great hub, Nettlemere!

David from Idaho on April 24, 2012:

I had all four of mine removed about two years ago. I was sore and a babbling fool coming out of the anesthesia (according to my wife). Too bad information like this wasn't available prior to the procedure.

I did alright, even though the exposed the nerve on my lower left side, which had me reaching for the strong pain killers.

I wouldn't using a straw for a couple of days as well to avoid getting a dry socket, my brother in law got one a year ago and it was not pleasant.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 09, 2012:

Boy, reading this Hub sure brought back memories! Way to turn the experience into a useful online resource, Nettlemere. Your advice is fabulous. Hahaa, I only wish I could have read this before I got my wisdom teeth removed!

Nettlemere (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on April 07, 2012:

Good luck with your tooth when the time comes Kitty and thank you Kashmir - I'm not quite ready to tackle eating crunchy toast yet, but definitely getting there.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on April 07, 2012:

Great hub with lots of valuable information that is well explained. It will help anyone that may need to have their wisdom teeth out so they will know just what to expected . Hope you are feeling better now, Happy Easter my friend !

Vote up and more !!!

Ann Leung from San Jose, California on April 06, 2012:

I had my three wisdom teeth removed at my dentist office because they were not too deep or difficult to extract. I recovered quite fast. But I am afraid to remove the last one which is in the upper jaw and hidden deep in the gum and my dentist said it would require surgery. I really worried that it might take me too long to recover. I still have to take care of my three young kids, so I decided to put it off for later. You hub contains very useful information that I will need when I have my last wisdom tooth removed. Thank you for sharing! Voted up and useful. :)

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