How To Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal
Claudio_Scott / Pixabay

Just had your wisdom teeth removed? It's not a very pleasant experience once the anesthesia has worn off. Now you are wondering how to sleep after that wisdom teeth removal. Don't worry, we've got you covered. We've compiled a list of tips and tricks that can help you get on the Sandman's good side for a few refreshing Z's. First let's deal a little with the pain to prepare for usage of said tips. Are you ready? Let's proceed!

Swelling after wisdom teeth removal

After wisdom teeth removal, swelling is sure to come. Feeling like a puffed-up balloon inflated inside a plastic bottle, your cheeks have had better days. How long does swelling last after wisdom teeth removal ? Recovering from a wisdom teeth extraction can take up to 2 weeks, although the swelling should only be 3-5 days of that. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to manage the pain and to bring down the swelling phase time. You'll need to know those things in order to get a good night's sleep, so without further ado we present the following pain and swelling management tips:

swelling after wisdom teeth removal
Kjerstin_Michaela / Pixabay

  • Ibuprofen - Ibuprofen is your friend(unless you are allergic, if that is the case then stay far, far away from it.). An anti-inflammatory, Ibuprofen can also help you to deal with the dull ache in your jaw following a wisdom teeth extraction. Stock up on it and take the amount the dentist recommends, typically no more than 2-3 every 4 hours. This will definitely help for swelling after wisdom teeth extraction.
  • Ice pack - The good old standard. An ice pack, wrapped in a thin towel and applied for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for up to 36 hours will help with the swelling. After this period of time you have pretty much maximized the effects of the ice pack and should switch to the next entry.
  • Moist heat - After the first 36 hours and the ice treatments, try moist heat for a change. A hot water bottle wrapped in a wet towel will do for this. The swelling should continue to go down from this point until it is gone. This is a tried and true classic treatment for swelling after wisdom teeth removal.
  • Tea bag - Green tea and chamomile are great for this. Steep the teabag  for up to 5 minutes and after it cools down to where it is simply warm, apply to the extraction spot. Tea bags have antibacterial qualities to them that will help to reduce wisdom teeth removal swelling and get you to feeling more comfortable in no time
  • Salt water rinse - Take half a teaspoon of salt and add it to a small glass of water. Rinse up to 6 times daily. The salt has disinfectant qualities that will help to keep the wound clean. Rinse with water afterwards to dilute the taste and you are done. This is also a classic method for reducing swelling after wisdom teeth removal.
  • Clove oil - A drop of clove oil on a piece of cotton can help to soothe the pain. Place it over the affected area and clamp down. Do this for only a few minutes and no more than 3 to 4 times in a day.

Are there any special dietary concerns?

Definitely. Nothing hard or crunchy. Stick to soft foods. Jello. Soups(not hot, warm only). Mashed potatoes or bananas are good. Only soft foods. This should be your standard for 3 to 5 days. What to eat after wisdom teeth removal on day 3, then? Well, we still wouldn't recommend anything crunchy for a week or two, but if you are feeling good enough after the first 3 to 5 days you can try some of your less crunchy favorites and you should be fine.

“You will want to sleep with your head elevated and at a 45 degree angle.”

Okay. I'm doing all these things. Now how to I make sure that I can sleep?

Now we get down to the nitty-gritty. Sleeping after a wisdom teeth removal surgery can be difficult but is certainly not impossible. We've put together a list of things that you can try in order to maximize your chance for getting all those delicious Z's. One note, for the first 36 hours you will want to sleep with your head elevated and at a 45 degree angle. The reason for this is that it will increase the blood flow and hasten your healing time. You will also need to sleep on your back for the first 3 to 7 days to avoid pressure on your cheeks. Now that you know the basics, try one of these tips to help you sleep:

  • Melatonin supplements - Melatonin is one of the primary hormones produced by the pineal gland that aids in sleep. Taking 2 milligrams before bed will help you to fall asleep faster and sleep more fully.
  • Meditative breathing - A simple breathing exercise is to breathe in for a count of three, hold it for a count of three, and then breathe out for a count of three. This will relax you. Practice this and it becomes automatic when you need it.
  • No caffeine - Stay away from coffee and caffeinated sodas for at least the first week if you can.
  • Warm bath - A warm bath can help to relax you immensely. Start hot and soak for at least half an hour so that your muscles relax and you are ready to drift off once you get to bed.
  • Scented candles - After that warm bath, scented candles in your room can be heavenly. Close your eyes and just focus on the scent, you'll be dreaming in no time.

Follow these tips to ensure that you are getting a good night's sleep following your wisdom teeth extraction. While it's not fun, just keep in mind that the swelling and the pain will pass relatively quickly and you will be smiling again very soon!