How to Sleep After Wisdom Tooth Removal

If you’re wondering how to sleep after wisdom tooth removal, we’ve got you covered.

All of us have heard the horror stories associated with the removal of wisdom teeth. It is common knowledge that the road to recovery following a wisdom tooth extraction is a long and painful one. So what are wisdom teeth and why exactly is the recovery process something that is feared?

Wisdom teeth are also known as the third molars. They are the last molar teeth to develop which usually grow at the very back of the upper and lower jaw bones, one at each back ‘corner’ of the mouth. They usually grow between the age of 18 and 25.

When wisdom teeth erupt, there are two possibilities. Either they grow out completely and nothing eventful happens or wisdom teeth are unable to completely erupt and become ‘impacted’. When such a situation occurs, surgical intervention becomes a must. Why? When a wisdom tooth is impacted and tries to erupt into the mouth, the flap of gum on top of it can become infected and swollen. This can cause it to become sore and painful. If this is not treated on time it can cause a huge infection.

An Overview Of the Surgery

How to Sleep After Wisdom Tooth RemovalFor the surgical procedure the dentist ( or surgeon) may either give you local or general anaesthesia. This  is a state of temporary induced loss of sensation or awareness. After that a quick overview of the surgery is that the dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that may be covering the tooth. He or she will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Sometimes the dentist will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. It is very possible that you may need stitches afterwards.

Tips to Sleep Better After Removal of Wisdom Tooth

The recovery period may take a few days to a week. This means that sleep will be hard to come by, if you are not taking certain steps and precautions. Some people just can’t sleep after wisdom teeth removal. Maybe they find it hard to figure out the right sleeping position after wisdom teeth removal. We do not want the pain to keep you up at night and hope that you are well rested during these tough days. So here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep after wisdom teeth removal.

1. Keep Your Head Elevated

Can i sleep on my side after wisdom teeth removal?

No.

Bleeding for up to 24 hours is a common side effect of the surgery. This is why you want to keep your head elevated when you are getting ready for bed. This will help to keep bleeding at a minimum. If you are one of those people who like to sleep flat or on their sides, you will need to step out of your comfort zone for a few days. The reasoning is pretty simple. The flatter you try to lay, the more stagnant your surgery site will be, causing your swelling to improve slower or even get worse. Some doctors even recommend sleeping completely upright if possible. You may use pillows or blankets to keep yourself propped up.

If you are unable to elevate your bed up or normally use flattened pillows, than it is probably a good idea to invest in some new pillows. Certain pillows are designed just to help you elevate your head such as “anti-snoring” pillows. You can also use wedge pillows to sleep at an elevated position.

Many people are under the impression that it is okay to return to your normal routine right after surgery. This is not a wise move. You must let your body rest and heal. Avoid any exercises or physical activities that may increase bleeding, at least for the first couple of days. Sleeping after wisdom tooth surgery isn’t easy as bleeding at night will make it near impossible to sleep.

2. Tea Bags

tea bagsThe surgical site will be covered with gauze, it is recommended to bite on the gauze occasionally to help reduce bleeding. However, one should be careful about not biting the inside of your cheek, tongue or lip. You can use tea bags along with your gauze.

As weird as it sounds, it is actually very beneficial. Using tea bags alongside the gauze at the initial stages of your recovery is a great way to speed up the process of forming healing blood clots. Tea contains tannic acid that promotes the clotting of blood in open wounds. It can also help to reduce the pain you may feel as a result of your surgery.

Before you are ready to tuck in night, remember to place fresh gauze with a moist teabag on the surgical site.

3. Painkillers & Antibiotics

painkillerDepending on what your doctor or physician has prescribed, the medications you have been given may cause drowsiness. Always remember to take them on time and if you do feel sleepy, do not fight the feeling. This will help your recovery process and will make you feel rested. Usually the patient is prescribed to take the last dose for the day right before bed so that they can get a good sleep after wisdom tooth removal.

4. Ice Your Jaw

ice cubesYour jaw and cheeks will most likely be swollen after your wisdom teeth surgery. For this reason, it is advised to put ice on those injuries. This will help with the pain and make you feel comfortable. Although you can ice your jaw whenever you want, it is best to ice for 15 minutes before you go sleep. This will hopefully provide you with enough comfort to doze off easily.

5. Rinse Your Mouth

After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can prepare this water solution yourself at home. Just be careful not to rinse too hard because this may cause bleeding. It may also loosen the blood clot and delay healing.

It is wise to plan your wisdom tooth removal around a time where you know you will be able to relax. You will need to give yourself time to heal, as it may take up to seven days. Don’t push yourself too far in the first few days of recovery. You don’t want to rush your recovery and begin eating after wisdom teeth removal that your body isn’t ready for yet. The key is to be patient and let your body work it’s magic.

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