Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Wisdom teeth removal is a simple procedure, but it can be a painful one, and you will need some time to recover. A good night of rest will go a long way towards healing, but finding the right position may prove to be a challenge, especially if you’re used to sleeping a certain way.
Can I sleep on my side after wisdom teeth removal?You must sleep on your back for about three to seven days, or however long it takes you to recover. Sleeping on your side places pressure on your cheek, which can lead to further pain, bleeding, and swelling. For this reason, avoid sleeping on your side after wisdom teeth removal.
If you had a similar procedure before, then you know how frustrating it can be to find a comfortable position to lay in, especially if you’re a regular side sleeper. There are, however, some tips you can try to help get you through the night comfortably.
Remember that the pain won’t last forever and that you’re helping yourself out in the long run. So stay positive and get through this!
How Should I Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
If you’re a side sleeper, this can be a challenge, since that’s the one position you should avoid.
- Sleep on your back– Use pillows to help keep you from tossing and turning. Tuck your blankets in and around you to securely form a cocoon. A cocoon will help prevent you from rolling on to your side.
- Sleep on your opposite side– Lay on the unaffected side. Doing this may still cause some discomfort, though, so be sure to try it slowly.
- Take painkillers as directed– Painkillers can help ease the pain and get you through the night. Take only the necessary amount and never overdo it.
- Make sure someone is around– Although not required, it may be helpful to have someone close by such as a parent, friend, or loved one, in the event something goes wrong, or you need something. It is comforting to know someone familiar is close, which may help speed up recovery. They’re also great for bringing you some ice cream and other soft treats.
- Meditate– Listen to gentle music or the sound of your breathing. Focus your thoughts on positive things rather than any discomfort you may be experiencing. Realize that recovery will be quick, even though it may not seem so during the time.
When Can I Sleep on My Side After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
After a week, you can return to your normal sleeping position, whatever that may be. If the site is still tender after a week, you may want to use aspecial pillow(view on Amazon), so you can sleep on your side but still elevate and keep the extraction site stable.
Dos and Don’ts Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction
- Elevate your head– This helps drain fluid away from the tooth extraction site. A memory foampillow(view on Amazon) specially designed for post-surgery can help.
- Have an ice pack on hand– This helps to reduce swelling in the area and also helps numb the pain.
- Get enough rest and sleep– Any surgical procedure can put undue stress on your body, so give it time to heal and be patient.
- Eat the right foods– When you’re ready to eat, avoid junk foods that will slow the recovery process. Have lots of nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are an excellent choice since they are soft and contain lots of healthy ingredients.
- Do not sleep on a couch– You will not be able to control the movements of your head, and you may slip into a position that will put stress on the extraction site. For elevating yourself, use a comfortable bedwedge(view on Amazon). This also applies to sleeping on your side after wisdom teeth removal.
- Do not use satin sheets and pillowcases– If you use satin, change your sheets temporarily to cotton instead as the material is more secure for sleeping. Satin or silk can be slippery and cause your head to move around unexpectedly. Pillows on both sides of your head may also keep you from slipping to the sides.
- Avoid spitting– This creates pressure and may cause further bleeding. Instead, tilt your head over a bowl or the sink. Allow gravity to take over and let the blood run out. You can also place a bowl next to your bed for easy access throughout the night.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol– Smoking can cause bleeding and hinder recovery. Furthermore, a combination of alcohol and painkillers can also be harmful.
- Do not exercise or carry heavy objects– Your nerves are affected by tooth extraction, and doing this may cause bleeding or swelling. Just rest in bed, and during the day, watch some television or play video games.
- Do not poke the extraction site– It may be tempting, especially if you can feel an itch, but touching the area may lead to infection. Allow it to heal on its own without any interference.
- Do not use a straw– The sucking motion can cause bleeding or dry socket, which is when the blood clot becomes dislodged and exposes the nerve and bone to air.
How Do You Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
We’ve look at sleeping on your side after wisdom teeth removal; now we’ll discuss how to prepare best for the procedure.
1. Gather as Much Information as You Can
- Use the internet– Use Google to research and find information related to the topic. Forum websites such as Reddit and Quora have people who share their experiences. This may be good to get an idea of the procedure, but be cautious when following advice online.
- Ask a dentist– Seek out a dentist who has experience in the procedure, especially complicated ones.
- Ask your friends or relatives– Ask your friends, relatives, and colleagues about their own experiences. Their knowledge can go a long way to helping you feel more prepared and comfortable.
- Visit the clinic– Ask lots of questions at the local clinic. Don’t be shy as any information can be beneficial. You should know precisely how the procedure will go. Find out about what may go wrong and what to do about it. Even simple questions related to brushing teeth, showering, and eating food can help. There are no embarrassing questions when it concerns your health. You can even ask your doctor about sleeping on your side after wisdom teeth removal.
2. Have Someone Go With You
Wisdom teeth extraction is normally an outpatient procedure where you can go home after. However, if you are in pain or feeling groggy from anesthesia, you should avoid driving or go back on your own. Pain killers and anesthesia impair judgment and behavior.
A friend or family member will be the best candidate to accompany you. They can also help you to fill a prescription if you need it and make sure that you are comfortable when you get home. Put their number on speed dial just in case you need to contact them immediately. Let them know you will need help lying down. They should know that you need to be positioned on your back. Have them prop you up with an elevated pillow and make sure you are secure.
Some dentists may not perform the procedure unless someone is with you anyway, but just in case, someone with you is good to have.
3. Stock up on the Proper Foods and Drinks
You wouldn’t normally have many soft foods and liquids in stock, so before the procedure, head to the grocer and buy stock up. Check with your dentist which ones you’re allowed to eat and when. Soups, juices, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, soft boiled eggs, certain fruits, and other soft foods are good foods to have. Bear in mind that some small ingredients may end up going to the extraction site and cause problems later on.
Confirm if you need to stick with cold food or if you’re allowed to warm it up a bit. Ice cream is always a good bet, and this is your chance to indulge without feeling guilty.
4. Discuss Medications With Your Dentist
If you have allergies to certain drugs, be sure to let your dentist know beforehand as it may interact with anesthesia or other medicines that will prescribe to you. You want to avoid any adverse reactions as it may lead to other unwanted complications or even health risks that you don’t want to take. Ask which ones will be used on you and what you will be taking afterward so you can discuss if it works against any existing medications, you may have. Be honest with your dentist, and do not omit any drugs you may be taking. It can mean saving your life should complications occur. A cold compress bag will also be handy.
Medications can also help get you through the night. Painkillers, for instance, should be discussed thoughtfully with your dentist.
5. Check Your Dental Insurance
Things can always go wrong, even with the most careful planning. Being prepared for any eventuality is the key to avoiding future problems. A complication during the wisdom tooth removal process can lead to a financial burden, so you want to have good dental insurance coverage. It is always better to have it and not need it.
6. Organize Your Bed
Rest and sleep are two of the most critical aspects of recovery, but they will be challenging to achieve if your bed is uncomfortable. When you’re in pain, this is a crucial thing to prepare for. Make sure that your bed is relaxing, and that you have the right pillows to support your neck and head. How to sleep after wisdom teeth extraction is a process you need to learn and one that can make your recovery process faster and relatively pain-free.
If you’ve already had the procedure and you’re reading this, here are a few tips you can try when sleeping on your side. Make your bed as relaxing as possible by gathering a few pillows and blankets from around the house. And by few, I mean enough to create a cocoon-like structure you can securely lay in without rolling around.
After a week or once you have recovered, you can return to your regular sleeping position, such as sleeping on your side. You may actually prefer this new one. For side sleepers, something you may find comfortable to sleep with is an orthopedic knee pillow (view on Amazon). It provides excellent support and prevents you from tossing and turning, trying to find a relaxing position to sleep in.
How Do You Deal With the Pain?
Once the anesthesia wears off, you will most likely feel the effects, and if your pain tolerance is low, it will be a good idea to check with your dentist if you can take the painkillers just before the pain begins.
- Make sure you have alternatives to the medications prescribed to you in case the one you took is not strong enough or has unexpected results.
- Check if you need to change the gauze pad or remove it altogether. Do not touch the area with your fingers as it may cause infection. Also, do not sleep with the gauze in your mouth as you may swallow it inadvertently.
- Although a little bleeding or swelling is expected, it should not be excessive. If it is, do not hesitate to go to the hospital to get it checked.
Should Asymptomatic Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
There are different reasons why your dentist will recommend the removal of your third and last molars, even if it is not causing pain. It could be impacted, growing at a wrong angle or even damage the tooth beside it. The reason could be as simple as avoiding future problems. If your wisdom tooth does not erupt, it may cause damage to your bone and gum tissue.
Conclusion – Can I Sleep on My Side After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
You may be one of the lucky few who do not need to have this procedure done, but if you’re not, then these recommendations should help towards having a healthy, pain-free life after wisdom tooth extraction. The query is not just about sleeping on your side after wisdom tooth removal but also making sure the whole process goes smoothly.
Can I sleep on my side after having wisdom teeth out? ›
Choose the Right Position
During the initial stages of healing, the tooth extraction site may ooze. Because of this, sleeping on your side is best, at least for the first night. Plus, if you lie flat on your back, you might experience more swelling.
- Do Not Use A Straw For 24-48 Hours After Your Surgery. ...
- Avoid Spitting Vigorously After Rinsing For 24-48 Hours After Extraction. ...
- Don't Smoke Or Use Oral Tobacco For 48 Hours. ...
- Do Not Brush The Extraction Site Directly For 3-4 Days.
Following any type of oral surgery, including a tooth extraction, you should sleep elevated for the first 2-3 nights. This allows your body to drain more of the fluid away from the extraction site. If you were to lie flat on your back, the amount of swelling is much more likely to increase.Can you sleep with gauze in your mouth wisdom teeth? ›
Remove Gauze Pads From your Mouth Before Sleep
Make sure to remove all gauze from your mouth before going to sleep. It's highly dangerous and potentially fatal to keep gauze in your mouth while sleeping. Remove everything from your mouth, take any prescribed medicines, and drink cool water if possible.
Inclined bed therapy involves raising a person's head above their feet when they are lying down. People use inclined bed therapy to ease certain health conditions. A person can use special beds, mattresses, bed risers, or pillows to sleep in an inclined position.How long is bed rest after wisdom teeth removal? ›
Bed rest the first 2 days is essential after surgery to hasten recovery and prevent complications. Stay down with your head elevated all day the first day, mild activity on the second day, and do what you feel like you are up to on days 3 and 4.What kills dry socket? ›
Lifestyle and home remedies
Take pain medications as prescribed. Avoid smoking or using tobacco products. Drink plenty of clear liquids to remain hydrated and to prevent nausea that may be associated with some pain medications. Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day.
#3: Avoid certain foods – Stay away from foods that can get stuck in your socket, such as nuts, seeds, chips and sticky candies. Instead, opt for soft foods immediately after your surgery, like yogurt, applesauce or mashed potatoes.Does water help prevent dry socket? ›
Stick to water and soft foods.
In addition, drink lots of water but avoid sugary, carbonated, or caffeinated beverages. Additionally, do not use straws, as the suction from the straw could dislodge the blood clot.
Try elevating your head by using an extra pillow at night to help reduce swelling and promote clotting. Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your side allows you to more easily keep your head propped up on a pillow compared to sleeping on your back. Apply ice.
Do you leave gauze in while sleeping? ›
As you head to bed to hit the sack, make sure to take all gauze out of your mouth before you fall asleep. Leaving gauze in your mouth is extremely dangerous and can be a choking hazard.Should I keep gauze in my mouth overnight? ›
It is advisable to use an old pillow case as not to damage your favorite ones. Please remove the gauze when you eat or drink. Do not sleep with the gauze in your mouth. Pay special attention to the placement of the gauze , making sure it is over the surgical site and not just between the teeth.Will keeping gauze in prevent dry socket? ›
The American Dental Association recommends you keep gauze over your extraction site for 30 to 45 minutes after surgery. This encourages a blood clot to form and can help prevent dry socket.Can gauze pull out blood clot? ›
Gauze placed against the wound will draw blood from the clot and this, likewise, is not a sign of bleeding. Place an old towel over your pillow for the first night to reduce risk of staining. If the bleeding persists, contact the office.How long until I can take gauze out after wisdom teeth? ›
The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for about 45 minutes, or until you get something soft to eat/drink, such as a milkshake or smoothie. You may take the gauze out to eat or drink, and then replace it as needed when you are done.What is worst sleeping position? ›
The worst sleep position: On your stomach
“This position puts the most pressure on your spine's muscles and joints because it flattens the natural curve of your spine,” he says. “Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to turn your neck, which can cause neck and upper back pain.”
Sleeping on your left side is thought to have the most benefits to your overall health. Still, either side can offer benefits in terms of sleep apnea and chronic lower back pain relief. You don't have to stick with one side the entire night. Feel free to start on your left side and see how your body feels.What are the 6 sleeping positions? ›
- Fetal position. It's the most popular sleeping position. ...
- Yearners. This is someone who sleeps on their side with their arms stretched out in front of them. ...
- The log. ...
- The soldier. ...
- Freefall. ...
- Rest. It is crucial to get adequate rest after your tooth extraction. ...
- Eat a Soft Food Diet. ...
- Avoid Using a Straw or Smoking. ...
- Cold Therapy. ...
- Use Over-the-Counter Medications. ...
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene.
Patients may first notice the pain starting in the ear radiating down towards the chin. The symptoms are usually worse at night, and your pain medication regimen may not help. Occasionally it is helpful to place a medicated dressing in the empty tooth socket.
Do wisdom teeth change face shape? ›
The part of your jaw where the wisdom teeth grow is known as the 'dental alveolus. ' This portion is separate from the basal jawbone, the part that determines your jaw's shape. In short, removing the wisdom teeth will not impact your jawbone or face shape.What does dry socket taste like? ›
Another common symptom of a dry socket is a bad or sour taste in your mouth. This can be one of the first signs of infection, so don't let that smell linger without taking swift action. Swish warm salt water or a dentist-recommended rinse in your mouth gently before getting on the books at your local dental office.Does salt water stop dry socket? ›
One of the best things you can do is rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. This will help to remove any food particles that could be irritating your dry socket and promote blood clotting. You want to make sure that you're using warm water and not hot because hot water could further irritate your wound.When can I stop worrying about food getting stuck in wisdom teeth holes? ›
It may take several weeks for the gum tissue to grow over the sockets. Food will probably get stuck in the sockets until they close over completely.What to do if food gets stuck in wisdom teeth holes? ›
Dislodge the food by gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (saline) solution. Avoid swishing the water around and don't spit—this can lead to painful dry sockets. If you received a syringe from your clinician, you can use warm water or salt water to gently flush the socket clean.What happens if food gets in wisdom tooth hole? ›
While the blood clot is forming, you may get food particles in the hole. This is perfectly normal. If the food particle isn't too uncomfortable, leaving it alone is an option, and it'll eventually dislodge itself.What causes dry socket the most? ›
Dry socket may be caused by a range of factors, such as an underlying infection in the mouth, trauma from the tooth extraction or problems with the jawbone. The condition occurs more often with wisdom teeth in the lower jaw than with other teeth. You are also more likely than others to develop dry socket if you: smoke.Who is more prone to dry socket? ›
Who gets dry socket? Research shows that women are slightly more likely than men to develop dry socket. This is probably due to estrogen, as the hormone may dissolve blood clots. Additionally, dry socket happens more often on the lower jaw than the upper jaw.How easy is it to dislodge a blood clot in your mouth? ›
The drawing action of sucking in, and the force applied when spitting, can dislodge the blood clot. Sneezing and coughing can also dislodge a blood clot. Hard or crunchy foods can displace the blood clot.What is the risk window for dry socket? ›
The highest risk for this condition is between days 2-3 after tooth extraction. After day 4, the risk of dry socket is passed. This condition rarely happens (about 4% of all extractions) and is most common after bottom wisdom teeth extraction.
Is it normal to feel tired 3 days after tooth extraction? ›
Your body is using energy to heal itself, so you may feel more tired than usual – this is perfectly normal.Why am I having throbbing pain 5 days after wisdom teeth removal? ›
Dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is one of the most common complications of wisdom tooth removal. It's where a blood clot fails to develop in the tooth socket, or if the blood clot becomes dislodged or disappears. This can happen 3 to 5 days after surgery.Why does my tooth extraction site hurt more at night? ›
Why does tooth extraction pain hurt more at night? It's normal to feel more dental pain of any kind at night. When we lie down, more blood and other fluids travel to our heads. This can increase swelling in a sensitive, healing area like an extraction socket, creating more pain.Can I take gauze out after 2 hours? ›
Immediately Following Surgery
The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for 1-2 hours. After this time, the gauze pad should be replaced every 1-2 hours with the extra gauze given. The gauze should be used until the bleeding has slowed or stopped.
Home Instructions After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Please make sure someone stays with you for at least the first 4 hours after you arrive home. If you suddenly stand from a lying position, you may become dizzy or nauseated. You will need someone to watch you carefully during the transition period after surgery.
It's usually recommended that you take a day or two off work after having a wisdom tooth removed. You won't need a sick note from your doctor or dentist for this.Can I stop using gauze 3 hours after tooth extraction? ›
A little oozing is normal and may persist for several hours. Keep gauze on the surgical area with some pressure (biting) for 30–45 minutes. Remove the gauze after 30–45 minutes and replace it with a new piece of gauze if you are still bleeding. It is important to make sure the gauze is directly on the surgical site.Can I swallow my saliva after tooth extraction? ›
Try to avoid rinsing and spiting for the rest of the day of your surgery. This tends to disturb the blood clot that is forming and can prolong bleeding and healing. Saliva can be swallowed, even if slightly blood tinged.How long does dry socket gauze stay in? ›
Dressings are “packed” lightly into the socket and provide immediate pain relief. They typically remain in place for three to five days. Some will slowly break up in a few days, but gauze may require another trip to the dentist to be removed.What to use if you run out of gauze? ›
As an alternative to gauze pads, a moistened tea bag can be used, as the tannic acid helps blood vessels contract.
Does dry socket pain start immediately? ›
With dry socket, pain begins a few days after surgery and gets significantly worse. The pain may feel like it covers the whole side of your mouth or face. You may be extra sensitive to cold drinks since soft tissues and nerve endings are exposed. Call your dentist if you suspect dry socket.How long should you wait to drink water after getting a tooth pulled? ›
You can simply drink normal water after one or two hours but if you are looking to drink any soda, acidic drink or an alcohol, you must wait for at least a week after tooth extraction.What happens if you swallow gauze? ›
A fallen nasal packing gauze into the throat or deeper potentially results in serious complication such as airway obstruction , aspiration , and bowel perforation .Can I drink water after wisdom teeth removal? ›
Drink lots of water after the surgery. Don't drink alcoholic, caffeinated, carbonated or hot beverages in the first 24 hours. Don't drink with a straw for at least a week because the sucking action can dislodge the blood clot from the socket.How long do you bleed after wisdom teeth? ›
The bleeding should stop within 2-3 hours, but you can expect to see blood-tinged saliva for up to 24-48 hours following surgery. If bleeding is heavy, or continues after 2 hours, moisten a tea bag, place on surgical site, and apply pressure or bite firmly for 30 minutes. This usually stops the bleeding.What happens if I run out of gauze after wisdom teeth removal? ›
If you run out of gauze, most pharmacies sell it or you can bite on tea bags; the tannic acid in tea helps in clot formation.What position should I sleep in after tooth extraction? ›
Choose the Right Position
During the initial stages of healing, the tooth extraction site may ooze. Because of this, sleeping on your side is best, at least for the first night. Plus, if you lie flat on your back, you might experience more swelling.
for 24 hours, avoid rinsing, spitting, hot drinks or anything else that may dislodge the blood clots that form in the empty tooth socket (they help the healing process) avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for 24 hours. eat soft or liquid food for a few days and chew with your other teeth.How do you rest after wisdom teeth removal? ›
- Rest as much as you can for the first few days.
- Avoid strenuous activity for 48 to 72 hours.
- Place a cold compress or ice pack on your face to help reduce swelling.
- Keep the surgical sites clean by gently soaking them with an antimicrobial mouthwash.
Keep gauze on the surgical area with some pressure (biting) for 30–45 minutes. Remove the gauze after 30–45 minutes and replace it with a new piece of gauze if you are still bleeding. It is important to make sure the gauze is directly on the surgical site. Firm pressure for another hour should stop the bleeding.
What happens if I accidentally spit after wisdom teeth? ›
No Spitting: Do not spit for the first 7 days. Spitting can dislodge a blood clot, triggering bleeding and severe dry socket pain. If you feel like you need to spit, gently rinse water in your mouth and then let the water passively fall into the sink.How long after wisdom teeth removal can I shower? ›
Do not be concerned if they unravel quickly after surgery. They are designed to be temporary. This will not affect the healing. No showers for the first 48 hours baths are fine.Can I swallow after wisdom teeth? ›
Swallow as you normally do on a daily basis. Once the gauze pads are removed, eat and drink. Foods that are conducive are light and soft (i.e. pasta, eggs, soups, milk shakes, mashed potatoes, boiled chicken, turkey, flakey fish etc.) If you don't feel like eating much, drink a lot of fluids, and stay well hydrated.What day does wisdom teeth pain peak? ›
Discomfort is normal after the extraction of teeth and typically peaks on days 2–4. The local anesthetic administered during your surgery normally has a duration of about 2-8 hours. Many patients are able to manage pain after surgery with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as Tylenol® and Motrin®.
With a typical wisdom tooth extraction, discomfort typically improves after 3 or 4 days, with day three usually being the most noticeable in regard to discomfort. If you are developing an infection or dry socket, the pain may last as long as two weeks without professional treatment.What is the best sleeping position for wisdom tooth pain? ›
Try elevating your head by using an extra pillow at night to help reduce swelling and promote clotting. Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your side allows you to more easily keep your head propped up on a pillow compared to sleeping on your back. Apply ice.Do top wisdom teeth heal faster? ›
In most cases, the wisdom teeth on the upper jaw heal faster than those on the lower jaw. The difference in healing time is mainly due to the higher density of the lower jawbone, which means it takes longer to achieve sufficient jawbone growth to replace the empty region.Does drinking water help heal wisdom teeth removal? ›
DO Stay Hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids when you're recovering from third molar extraction. Hydration helps ensure proper healing, so aim for a minimum of eight glasses of water every day.What can I do 72 hours after wisdom tooth extraction? ›
- No drinking hot drinks. ...
- Avoid foods that are extremely chewy, as this requires you to move your jaw which can dislodge the blood clot.
- Avoid brushing near the extraction site.
- Do not rinse your mouth out.