How to Reduce Wisdom Teeth Swelling After Surgery

Getting your wisdom teeth removed can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful experience. Swelling is a common side effect of wisdom teeth extraction, but there are several steps you can take to reduce this swelling and promote a faster recovery. In this article, we will discuss some effective ways to manage and reduce wisdom teeth swelling after surgery.

1. Apply Ice Packs: Immediately after your surgery, apply ice packs to the affected area. This helps to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. Wrap an ice pack in a thin cloth and hold it against your cheek for around 15 minutes at a time, with a 15-minute break in between.

2. Keep Your Head Elevated: When resting or sleeping, try to keep your head elevated with the help of extra pillows. This helps to prevent fluid accumulation in the surgical area, reducing swelling.

3. Take Prescribed Medications: Follow your dentist’s instructions and take the prescribed pain medication and antibiotics as directed. These medications help control pain and prevent any infection, which can contribute to swelling.

4. Avoid Hot Beverages and Spicy Foods: For the first few days after surgery, avoid hot beverages and spicy foods as they may irritate the surgical site and increase swelling. Stick to soft, cool foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies.

5. Rinse Your Mouth Gently: Rinse your mouth gently with warm saltwater, starting the day following your surgery. This helps keep the surgical site clean and promotes healing. However, be cautious not to rinse too vigorously, as it can dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.

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6. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol: Smoking and consuming alcohol can hinder the healing process and increase the risk of complications. It is best to avoid these substances for at least a few days after surgery.

7. Use Non-Alcoholic Mouthwash: After the first 24 hours, you can use a non-alcoholic mouthwash to gently rinse your mouth. This helps to keep the surgical area clean and reduces the chance of infection.

8. Limit Physical Activity: Take it easy for a few days after surgery and avoid any strenuous physical activity. Exertion can increase blood flow to the surgical site and worsen swelling.

9. Apply Warm Compresses: After the initial 24 hours, you can switch from ice packs to warm compresses. Apply a warm, moist towel or cloth to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time. This promotes blood circulation and reduces swelling.


1. How long does swelling last after wisdom teeth surgery?
Swelling usually peaks 2-3 days after surgery and gradually subsides over the next 7-10 days.

2. Can I use over-the-counter pain medications to reduce swelling?
Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen can help manage pain but may not address swelling effectively. Follow your dentist’s advice for prescribed medications.

3. Is it normal to have difficulty opening my mouth after surgery?
Some difficulty in opening your mouth is normal after surgery due to swelling. However, if it persists or worsens, consult your dentist.

4. Can I use a heating pad to reduce swelling?
Avoid using a heating pad directly on the surgical area, as it can increase blood flow and worsen swelling. Stick to warm compresses instead.

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5. Should I apply ice packs continuously?
It is recommended to apply ice packs for 15 minutes at a time, with a 15-minute break in between, to prevent damage to the skin.

6. Can I eat normally after wisdom teeth surgery?
For the first few days, it is best to stick to soft, cool foods to avoid irritating the surgical site. Gradually reintroduce solid foods as advised by your dentist.

7. How effective are natural remedies like turmeric or clove oil for reducing swelling?
While some natural remedies may have anti-inflammatory properties, it is essential to consult your dentist before using them to ensure they won’t interfere with your recovery.

8. When should I contact my dentist about excessive swelling?
If you experience severe or worsening swelling, difficulty breathing, excessive bleeding, or intense pain, contact your dentist immediately.

9. How long does it take for the swelling to completely disappear?
Swelling can take up to two weeks to completely disappear, but the majority of it should subside within the first week.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can effectively manage and reduce wisdom teeth swelling after surgery. However, if you have any concerns or unusual symptoms, always consult your dentist for personalized advice and guidance.