Wisdom Teeth Recovery – How long Does It Take

Recovering from a wisdom teeth extraction is a common concern for many individuals facing this dental procedure. The duration of wisdom teeth recovery varies based on several factors, including the number of teeth extracted, age, and whether any complications arise during the surgery. 

Typically, the wisdom teeth recovery period spans between 3 days to 2 weeks. Understanding what to expect during wisdom teeth recovery is essential for managing post-operative discomfort and ensuring a smooth healing journey.

The final adult teeth to erupt in your mouth are the wisdom teeth, often known as third molars. They often occur while you’re between the ages of 17 and 21, and they erupt on both the top and bottom of both sides.

In the US, around 5 million wisdom teeth are extracted annually. Half of these procedures entail extracting all four wisdom teeth.

Although surgery is common, the wisdom teeth recovery period varies in length depending on:

  • your age
  • if a tooth was impacted
  • how many teeth were extracted
  • if complications occurred during the surgery

Read on to learn what wisdom teeth removal is and how long it takes for wisdom teeth recovery.

What is Wisdom Teeth Removal? 

Wisdom tooth removal is also known as wisdom tooth extraction. It is an oral surgery procedure often advised by dentists to safeguard your oral health and prevent potential future issues.

Your wisdom teeth, also called third molars, usually show up at the ages of 17 and 25.

Scientists theorize that wisdom teeth are vestigial structures, once necessary for our ancestors to chew raw food but no longer essential today. Our modern diet and utensils have diminished the need for these teeth. While some individuals have all four wisdom teeth, others may have fewer or none at all. This variation is considered normal and reflects the ongoing evolutionary changes in humans.

Why is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary? 

  • Impacted wisdom teeth: When wisdom teeth are trapped in the gums or jawbone.
  • Misalignment: If wisdom teeth grow in crooked or sideways.
  • Pain: Experienced near the back of the mouth.
  • Difficulty in cleaning: Food and debris get trapped around wisdom teeth.
  • Gum disease: Particularly affecting the molars.
  • Tooth decay: Present in partially erupted wisdom teeth.
  • Cysts: Fluid-filled sacs around one or more wisdom teeth.
  • Damage: To nearby teeth or surrounding bone.

Dentists often recommend wisdom teeth extraction preventively, even without symptoms, to reduce the risk of future issues like infection and tooth decay.

How to Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal wisdom teeth removal

Before your wisdom teeth removal, you’ll have a consultation with an oral surgeon. They will assess your wisdom teeth’s health and use dental X-rays to determine their position. This is the time to inform your surgeon about any medications, vitamins, or supplements you’re taking.

During the consultation, your surgeon will discuss sedation options with you. Depending on your needs, they may suggest local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), IV sedation, or general anesthesia.

If you opt for IV sedation or general anesthesia, your surgeon will provide detailed preparation instructions. This may involve fasting after midnight before your surgery and adjusting certain medications a few days beforehand. Always consult your surgeon before stopping any medication.

How Long Does It Take to Recover After Wisdom Teeth Extraction? 

Here are the key points about the wisdom teeth recovery process after wisdom teeth extraction:

  • Recovery time varies: The duration of recovery from wisdom teeth extraction can vary based on individual factors like the number of teeth removed, whether they were impacted, and overall health.
  • Initial discomfort: During the first few days post-extraction, you may experience swelling, discomfort, and slight bleeding around the extraction site.
  • Post-operative instructions: Your dentist or oral surgeon provides specific instructions on managing symptoms, which may include using ice packs, taking prescribed pain medication, and avoiding certain foods.
  • Maintain oral hygiene: It’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene by gently rinsing the mouth with warm salt water to prevent infection and promote healing.
  • Attend follow-up appointments: It’s important to attend any follow-up appointments scheduled by your dentist to monitor the healing progress.
  • Be alert for signs of complications: Watch for signs of complications such as severe or prolonged pain, signs of infection like fever or swelling, and excessive bleeding. 
  • Patience is key: Recovery times can vary, so be patient and allow your body time to heal properly. Follow post-operative care instructions diligently for the best outcomes.

How Can You Fasten the Recovery Period of Wisdom Teeth Extraction? 

Following these guidelines and staying in touch with your dental care provider can ensure a smoother and faster recovery from wisdom teeth extraction.

Here are some self-care recommendations to alleviate pain and promote wisdom teeth recovery after wisdom teeth extraction:

  • Use pain relievers like paracetamol or ibuprofen, following the manufacturer’s dosage instructions. Evidence suggests ibuprofen may be the most effective painkiller post-extraction.
  • Don’t exercise for a few days to avoid putting undue pressure on the extraction site.
  • Use an extra pillow to elevate your head to reduce swelling and discomfort while sleeping.
  • For the first 24 hours, avoid actions that may dislodge blood clots in the extraction site, such as rinsing, spitting, or consuming hot beverages.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid alcohol consumption for the initial 24 hours to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications.
  • Consume soft or liquid foods for a few days and chew using your other teeth to prevent irritation to the extraction site.
  • After the first 24 hours, gently rinse the extraction site with antiseptic mouthwash regularly, especially after meals. Alternatively, you can use warm salt water as a mouthwash to alleviate gum soreness and inflammation.


The recovery period after wisdom teeth extraction can vary from person to person based on factors like the complexity of the extraction and individual healing processes. While some may recover within a few days, others may require up to two weeks or more for complete healing. It’s important to follow post-operative care instructions provided by the dentist to promote optimal healing and minimize discomfort during the recovery period.

For those seeking professional dental care in Clearwater, FL, Clearwater Family Dental offers comprehensive dental services, including wisdom teeth extraction. Book an appointment online today. New patients can call at (727) 304-1673, while current patients can reach us at (727) 334-7990.


How many days should I plan for wisdom teeth recovery? 

It’s advisable to take a minimum of 2 days off from work or school, including the day of your surgery. However, if your job involves physical exertion, it’s recommended to consider taking 3–4 days off.

How long does it take for wisdom teeth extraction sites to heal? 

Generally, a hole resulting from the simple extraction of a small tooth with a single root usually closes and heals within about 7 days. In contrast, a hole from the simple extraction of a large tooth with multiple roots may take up to 3 weeks to close. However, complete healing and closure of the hole may extend over several months.

How long does pain last after wisdom tooth extraction? 

Generally, pain after wisdom tooth extraction lasts from 3 days to one week, but if your teeth were impacted, it could take as long as a week to heal. However, the recovery time may be extended if you experience an infection or dry socket, which occurs when the blood clot dislodges from the extraction site.

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