Having your wisdom teeth removed isn't a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination, but if your third molars are causing you severe discomfort, then it's a procedure that you need to undergo. Every year, over five million people end up having wisdom teeth surgery – proving that you're by no means alone when it comes to suffering from the pains and pangs of third molar problems.

Many people read up on what to expect when it comes to the removing wisdom teeth, but what a lot of people forget to take account of is the recovery process that comes afterwards. Your dentist will supply you with some useful aftercare information, but there are additional things that you can do at home to aid your recovery and make sure that you take care of your mouth during a tender, vulnerable period.

Just remember to take a SMART approach to the recovery period, and your oral health will return to its healthy state before you know it.


One of the biggest issues following wisdom teeth removal is the aspect of swelling in the jaw. Not only can this be unpleasant to deal with, it can also cause a severe amount of discomfort in certain patients. It's worth asking your dentist which over-the-counter medication you can acquire to help ease the pain, but there are also things you can do at home which will help soothe the affected area.

Ice packs are always a good way to quell the swell. Lightly balance them against your face for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and repeat the process a few times during the day. After three days, move away from ice packs and apply some moist heat to the area instead in the form of a warm, wet towel. The chill of the ice packs will help to reduce any swelling, while adding moist heat at a later date will help to clear the pain.


When it comes to recovering from oral surgery, it's vital that you manage the affected area in the best possible way to avoid infection or complications occurring. Be sensible with your diet by sticking to soft or liquid-like foods such as mashed potato or soup. Be sure to remain hydrated by consuming plenty of water on a regular basis, and avoid drinks like caffeine or alcohol as these have the potential to interfere with the recovery process or any medication you may be on.

If you're a smoker, then this is one of the best possible times to start quitting. The chemicals in tobacco have the potential to restrict blood flow in the mouth, which is essential for healing and recovery. The act of sucking on a cigarette itself is also able to disrupt the clot, and with this in mind it's probably in your best interest to avoid smoking an e-cigarette too.

Avoid cleaning your teeth for the first 24 hours after surgery, as you may end up brushing against the affected area and dislodging the clot. When it's time to get scrubbing again, make sure you do so in a careful, tentative manner. Rinsing your mouth with half a cup of warm water and a pinch of salt a few days after surgery can help cleanse the removal site, and ensure your mouth doesn't succumb to infection.


It's important to remain alert and attentive during the recovery process, as infection is a possibility – and needs to be identified promptly in order to prevent further discomfort and added complications. Pay attention to what your body is telling you during the time. Do you have a fever? Are you experiencing a permanently sour taste in your mouth? Is there leakage or discharge emitting from the removal site? If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it's important to get in touch with your dentist right away, as your mouth may be infected.


Oral surgery may be restricted to your mouth, but it's still surgery nonetheless, and you ought to treat it as such by getting plenty of rest in the aftermath of your treatment. Do not try to do anything that requires physical exercise, and avoid activities like driving as you're not in a fit condition to be on the road after dental surgery. Keep yourself in a calm, relaxed environment, and do your best to keep your head tilted upwards, as this will help to restrict any bleeding – a bit like when you have a nosebleed.


It's easy to begin feeling down in the dumps during the days after wisdom tooth surgery. Not only will your face puff up, there's also likely to be some bleeding in the hours that follow surgery. But by remaining positive and coming to terms with the fact that your recovery period will take time, you can ensure that you emerge on the other side unscathed.  

Plan your schedule accordingly, and push back any activities on your calendar for a few days until you've recovered. When arranging your surgery with a clinic like Swansea Family Dental, try your best to book in the procedure at a mid-week date. This way you can have the back end of the week and the weekend to recover, meaning you'll be all set to start work again by the time Monday rolls around.