How to Sleep after Wisdom Teeth Removal | 7 Post Extraction Tips (2023)

Many people face the problem of not enough room for the wisdom teeth to grow that results into pain, infection and other dental issues. The condition is often treated with the removal of wisdom teeth. Due to pain after the procedure many people ask end up asking how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal. Studies showed that wisdom teeth removal had become one of the most common procedures by the twentieth century. ‘Jaw Malformation’ and ‘Malpositioned teeths’ is the most recent phenomenon behind it.

The apparent reason for this oral surgery is that our wisdom teeth do not fit properly. One reason is our inclination towards pre-packed cooked food, which doesn’t let us chew as much as we used to a few centuries ago.

This epidemic of malpositioned teeth, which the law of natural evolution could no longer explain due to its rapid progress, might, in fact be a sign that our jaws are not being developed properly because we are not feeding ourselves properly.

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Wisdom Teeth Removal and Obstructive Sleep

If you plan to have your wisdom teeth taken out, few important precautions for early recovery need to be followed. Wisdom teeth extraction often leads to bleeding, painful gums, and difficulty falling asleep. Studies suggest the relation between the tooth loss and symptoms of OSA – Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Dentists from all around the world adopt certain methods to reduce swelling, pain and have restful sleep for the patient.

Some people face sleep paralysis after the wisdom tooth extractions that lasts for a couple of hours. Some may have hallucinations experience addition due to deprivation of restful sleep due to pain. There are some who remain partially cognizant the whole time during sleep due to unusual behavior of the nervous system after tooth extraction.

(Video) Wisdom Teeth Extractions RECOVERY TIPS (How To Heal Fast)

It is normal to feel tender, achy, and uncomfortable for several days after the removal of wisdom teeth. It is advised to call the doctor or oral surgeon who performed the extraction in case of bleeding, swelling, bad taste, and pain that last longer than three days. The doctor must also be consulted in case of any reaction to the medication.

The first 48 hours are vital for the healing process, while extra care is required in the first 24 hours. You must follow the instructions given by your doctor and do what the doctor tells you to do. The precautions, medications are intended to make blood clots where extraction is performed. Blood clots are necessary to stop bleeding and pain that is crucial for restful good night sleep and faster recovery due to composition of teeth.

(Video) Tooth extraction aftercare I Wisdom tooth extraction - Tips for faster healing & prevent dry socket

How should I sleep after wisdom teeth removal?

Keeping your head elevated while sleeping after wisdom teeth are removed is necessary. It will help if you start sleeping on your back for three days to a week. Avoid sleeping on sides or stomach to prevent cheeks from getting squished, and draw additional pressure and blood to the affected area.

Is it OK to sleep on your side after wisdom teeth removal?

Sleeping on sides may add extra pressure to the affected area, draw extra blood that may cause swelling and bleeding. Try to sleep on your back so that your head remains more elevated than your heart.

How can I prevent dry socket while sleeping?

It is possible to prevent the dry socket by keeping your head elevated by adding extra pillows beneath the head while speeding. Avoiding the brush for the first 24 hours may also help prevent dry socket.

How long is bed rest after wisdom teeth removal?

It is suggested to take bed rest for at least the first two days after surgery for wisdom teeth extraction. Do mild to no activity on day second. The bed rest allows the affected area to heal quickly. You may start doing activities by day three as per your convenience.

Can I shower after wisdom teeth removal?

You should avoid going for the shower for the first 24 hours. Any activity, shower, exercise and hot food are not recommended for the first day to avoid any risk of harm to the affected area that may hamper the healing process.

Can you leave gauze in your mouth overnight?

You should not sleep with the gauze in your mouth. Place the gauze on the affected area to help the body make blood clots. Remove the gauze before sleeping to avoid any risk of choking hazards once you fall asleep.

How painful is impacted wisdom teeth removal?

The removal of impacted wisdom teeth is sometimes tricky, but it is unlikely to be painful. Dentists usually give pain relievers to manage postoperative pain. Most people face swelling and discomfort for a few days after the surgery. It takes three days to a week to completely heal after the surgery.

(Video) How to Have Sound Sleep after Wisdom Tooth Removal

The important part of recovery after teeth removal is conscious sleep. Sleep and decent rest is necessary for faster healing. It is suggested by doctors to be careful of precautions while sleeping else you can extend your recovery period. Let’s breakdown the measures you need to take after wisdom tooth removal as follows.

Take proper medication and precautions

Be sure that you are taking prescribed medications by an oral surgeon. It is to help you in faster healing and reducing pain. Medications are intended to reduce pain and make blood clots at the place of extraction to reduce swelling, bleeding. Hopefully, your doctor would have prescribed strong medication already. Usually, Tylenol and Ibuprofen will help you alleviate the pain and discomfort. You may also bring the use of ice packs on your cheeks to reduce mixed feelings of pain and swelling.

Select an ideal position to keep head elevated

It is good idea to sleep with your head at a 45-degree angle while even as you sleep for the first 36 hours. This is to prevent the blood to pool in the place of extraction, which may cause your wound to throb. There is a risk of blood vessels growing close to the wound if you lie flat on your back, which may extend the pain and healing process.

It is advised to keep several pillows behind the back and head to keep yourself elevated even while sleeping.

Remove Gauze from Mouth before Sleep

Bite on Gauze is often prescribed to prevent dry socket that is placed when a blood clot failed. Dry socket forms once you dislodge the blood clot formed on the extraction surgery area. The removal of blood clot may expose the never and bone to air that may hamper the healing of affected area and cause pain.

Thus, it is important to follow the instruction so that the clot does not come out too soon. It is recommended to switch the Gauze after 30 minutes and remove it before sleeping.

You would prefer to remove the gauze from the mouth so as to avoid chock on it accidentally. It is advisable to keep your mouth close for few days, but it may lead to stiffness and discomfort. Open the mouth slowly after the wisdom tooth removal.

7 Short Tips for comfortable Sleep post Extraction

  1. Take rest to ensure a comfortable sleep and avoid delayed healing due to too much exertion.
  2. Turn lights off before sleep and try to maintain room temperature between 16 to 19 Celsius to keep body temperature low.
  3. It is suggested to put your phone on silent and its face down to avoid any extra disturbance during sleep.
  4. It is highly recommended to sleep on your back with an elevated head to hasten the recovery period. This posture should be maintained for three to seven days.
  5. It is prohibited by doctors to sleep on your side and stomach that may exert any pressure and draw more blood on the extraction site.
  6. If you are not used to lay on your back while sleeping, you may adjust pillows in a position to keep your head elevated and organized while sleeping.
  7. Use a pillow with extra compression that may fit your head into it. This is useful to avoid extra stress on your neck.

Generalized Tips and Aftercare Instructions

You should be having a scheduled rest after the extraction procedure, not only when you feel sleepy. Take off from work for a couple of days, lay low and take a rest whenever you get a chance. The more strain you exert on yourself, the recovery is more likely to get painful, thereby making sleep less comfortable.

(Video) How To Place Gauze Properly |

Don’t panic if you are bleeding at first, because the mixture of blood and saliva makes it look worse than it is. Take a gauze bite for an hour, do not use a straw, and not suck on anything. Do not brush your teeth, spit, and rinse your mouth on the extracted area. Don’t even go near that area with any home care tools. Prevent Smoking, at least for 72 hours, try not to cough and sneeze. Rest and relax on the couch but do not lay flat on the back. Use pillows to keep your head high.

These are usual instructions which are to be followed. Ask your dentist if you have any allergies. Don’t Cardio and workout that may elevate your heart rate. Too much exercise may delay the healing process due to a rise in blood pressure. Stop drinking hot drinks, stay away from alcohol and spicy food.

Generally, it is advisable to use ice packs to keep the swelling down with 20 minutes on and off. You may prescribe pain medicines to prevent discomfort and pain before sleeping. It is not suggested by doctors to take strong pain medication and narcotic drugs to help to alleviate the pain. Instead, the use of cold ice and OTC meds are recommended to cater to the pain and swelling.

To make the recovery process super straightforward, it is highly recommended to do not to panic and take it all easy. Keep the information down your head, follow instructions and suggested tips to ensure comfortable sleep after the procedure.

Read Also: X-Ray Of Baby’s Teeth: Why It’s Important


The process of wisdom tooth extraction can result in a number of negative side effects, including pain, swelling, and bleeding. One of the most common concerns is how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal. There are a few different methods that can be used, including sleeping with your head elevated, using ice packs, and taking pain medication. If you have any other questions or concerns, please leave your valued feedback in the comment section.

(Video) How to stop bleeding after wisdom tooth removal? How to Prevent Dry Socket? l 智慧牙术后护理须知


How can I sleep comfortably after wisdom teeth removal? ›

After wisdom teeth extraction, you need to sleep with your head elevated for the first few nights. A single pillow should suffice when you're sleeping on your side. If you're having trouble falling asleep in that position, pile a few pillows behind you for support and lean back.

How can I prevent dry socket while sleeping? ›

How To Avoid Dry Socket After Tooth Removal – Our Tips & Advice
  1. Do Not Use A Straw For 24-48 Hours After Your Surgery. ...
  2. Avoid Spitting Vigorously After Rinsing For 24-48 Hours After Extraction. ...
  3. Don't Smoke Or Use Oral Tobacco For 48 Hours. ...
  4. Do Not Brush The Extraction Site Directly For 3-4 Days.

How many nights should you sleep elevated after wisdom teeth removal? ›

Keep Your Head Elevated and Inclined

According to studies, sleeping with your head up for the first two days is preferable. Do not sleep on your side. Allow gravity to work in your favor for a few days so you can heal quickly. Follow the steps to minimize swelling and discomfort after surgery.

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.

Can you sleep with gauze in your mouth wisdom teeth? ›

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.

Is wisdom tooth extraction pain worse at night? ›

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.

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.

What foods prevent dry socket? ›

#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 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.

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.

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 am I so tired after wisdom teeth removal? ›

Your body is using energy to heal itself, so you may feel more tired than usual – this is perfectly normal.

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.

Do you have to sleep sitting up after wisdom teeth removal? ›

Keep Your Head Up

After the wisdom teeth removal, the best way is to sleep with your head elevated. You should do that, at least for the first few nights. Take an extra pillow and place it under your head. But if it's hard to fall asleep this way, try to elevate your whole upper body.

When can I stop using gauze wisdom teeth? ›

Check your mouth after 45 minutes- if the bleeding has stopped, you no longer need gauze. Otherwise, repeat with the gauze until the bleeding has stopped or slowed significantly.

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.

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.

When can I drink water after wisdom teeth removal? ›

How soon can I drink water after tooth extraction? Except for taking medications, you should avoid all food and drink for at least 24 hours after wisdom tooth removal. This allows your surgical site to heal. It's best to drink plenty of water the next day to remain hydrated and stick to a soft, liquid-based diet.

Which day hurts worse after wisdom teeth? ›

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.

Should I still be in pain 7 days after wisdom teeth removal? ›

a stiff, sore jaw – this should wear off within 7 to 10 days. pain – this is worse if the extraction was difficult or complicated. an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

What day after getting your wisdom teeth pulled Will it hurt most? ›

Pain and discomfort tend to peak and then fade within 1-3 days after surgery. You may notice other symptoms like bruising, swelling, and inflammation around the extraction sites. This is normal.

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 increases risk of dry socket? ›

Factors that can increase your risk of developing dry socket include: Smoking and tobacco use. Chemicals in cigarettes or other forms of tobacco may prevent or slow healing and contaminate the wound site. The act of sucking on a cigarette may physically dislodge the blood clot prematurely.

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.

What drinks cause dry socket? ›

Drinking hot coffee after oral surgery can prevent a blood clot from forming or dislodge a newly formed blood clot. This may lead to a condition called dry socket, which can cause considerable pain and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

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? ›

Food will probably get stuck in the sockets until they close over completely. This may cause problems with bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth. You can rinse with salt water as described on page 4 to help keep your mouth clean. Infection can sometimes happen after having wisdom teeth taken out.

Can swishing salt water cause dry socket? ›

Tip #1: Salt Water Rinse

Be careful to use gentle swishing motions. Too much force while swishing the salt water could irritate and possibly lead to a dry socket. Also, it is best to stick to soft foods, like yogurt and applesauce for a few days to avoid hard food in the sockets.

What helps gums heal faster after extraction? ›

6 Tips for Faster Recovery After a Tooth Extraction
  • 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.
Oct 7, 2021

Can the ER treat dry socket? ›

If the dentist who extracted the tooth is unavailable, patients with dry socket can get help at emergency dental clinics, urgent care clinics, or a hospital emergency room. All of these facilities have emergency dentists who can treat dry socket.

Why is my extraction site throbbing? ›

Some swelling and soreness can continue throughout the first week. Throbbing pain during the first 24 hours after your extraction is likely just a sign that your body is healing. The pain should respond well to any over-the-counter or prescription medications you take. It may also decrease with basic self-care.

Is it normal to have pain 6 days after wisdom teeth removal? ›

Postoperative pain after wisdom teeth removal is not uncommon. Pain may last for few days with some people and longer with others. It is due to the surgery itself and soreness of the jaw from opening the mouth. If the pain is increasing, it may be due to a dry socket or infection, non of them is serious.

Is it dry socket or just pain? ›

Dry sockets become increasingly painful in the days after a tooth extraction. They may also have exposed bone or tissue, or an unpleasant smell. By comparison, normal healing sockets get less painful over time and do not cause any other symptoms. A dry socket can be very painful, but it is not usually serious.

How long will I bleed after tooth extraction? ›

Generally, the blood should stop oozing out on its own in about 12 to 24 hours after the tooth is extracted.

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 [2], aspiration [4], and bowel perforation [5].

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 are you in recovery room after wisdom teeth removal? ›

Recovery timeline
First 24 hoursBlood clots will form.
2–3 daysSwelling of the mouth and cheeks should improve.
7 daysA dentist may remove any stitches that remain.
7–10 daysJaw stiffness and soreness should go away.
2 weeksAny mild bruising on the face should heal.

Can I go to sleep if my tooth extraction is still bleeding? ›

Sleeping Must Be Done Elevated

This can make your pain go from tolerable to intolerable, and it can also restart your bleeding after the procedure. Instead, you should prop a few pillows behind your back to properly support you, and then sleep.

How long do you leave gauze in your mouth after tooth extraction? ›

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.

When does pain peak after wisdom tooth extraction? ›

Pain and discomfort tend to peak and then fade within 1-3 days after surgery. You may notice other symptoms like bruising, swelling, and inflammation around the extraction sites. This is normal.

Does sleep help heal tooth extraction? ›

Oral surgery, no matter if it is surgery for periodontal disease, tooth extractions, or dental implant placement, can leave you feeling uncomfortable for a few days. Getting plenty of rest and sleep is crucial for healing properly following surgery.

How do you know if you lost the blood clot after tooth extraction? ›

After a tooth extraction, you should develop a blood clot in the socket (hole) that's left behind. It'll look like a dark-colored scab. But if you have a dry socket, the clot will be absent and you'll be able to see bone. For this reason, dry sockets usually appear white.

Can leaving gauze in too long cause dry socket? ›

2. Do not remove the gauze before they are soaked with blood and saliva. Removing a somewhat dry gauze from over an extraction site can pull the developing clot out of the socket. This in turn can cause a dry socket--a painful infection of the tooth socket.

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 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 can I do 72 hours after wisdom tooth extraction? ›

The important instructions you need to follow in the 24 to 72 hours after wisdom teeth removal often include:
  • 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.

Is it normal to still have pain 7 days after wisdom tooth extraction? ›

a stiff, sore jaw – this should wear off within 7 to 10 days. pain – this is worse if the extraction was difficult or complicated. an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

What day is pain worse after tooth extraction? ›

It is normal for pain to get worse over the next couple of days. Most discomfort is seen on day 2 and 3. Once you get home and the bleeding has stopped, you should eat (soft foods, pudding, etc.).

What happens on day 5 of wisdom teeth removal? ›

Days 5-7: Most symptoms should subside except limited jaw opening and a minor, occasional ache. It may take 2-4 weeks to reach normal Jaw opening. If any stitches remain, you should return to your dentist to have them removed.


1. Dry Socket (After tooth extraction): All you need to know
2. After Wisdom Teeth Removal
(North Texas Dental Surgery)
3. Things you SHOULD do after dental surgery (tooth extraction, dental implant, gum surgery)
(The Gum Dentist)
4. What to eat after wisdom teeth removal
(North Texas Dental Surgery)
5. The Healing Process After Tooth Extraction: What to Expect
(Mk Dentist)
6. Post-Operative Guide to Tooth Extractions (With or Without Bone Grafting) | Dr. John W. Thousand IV
(Dr. John Thousand IV, DDS, MSD)
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