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We have an affiliate relationship with and receive compensation from companies whose products we review on this site. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

How to Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Having your wisdom teeth removed can be an uncomfortable experience. The pain and swelling that follow the procedure can make it difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep. However, getting proper rest is crucial for the healing process. To help you sleep more comfortably after wisdom teeth extraction, we have compiled a few tips and tricks.

1. Elevate Your Head: Prop yourself up with extra pillows or use a wedge pillow to elevate your head while sleeping. This position helps reduce swelling and prevents blood from pooling around the surgical site, promoting faster healing.

2. Ice Packs: Apply ice packs to your cheeks for 15-20 minutes before going to bed. The cold temperature will help numb the area and reduce swelling, making it easier to fall asleep.

3. Pain Medication: Take any prescribed pain medication as directed before going to bed. This will help alleviate any discomfort and allow you to sleep more peacefully. However, ensure you follow your dentist’s instructions and never exceed the recommended dosage.

4. Avoid Sleeping on the Side of Extraction: If your wisdom teeth were removed from one side of your mouth, avoid sleeping on that side. Sleeping on the opposite side or on your back can minimize pressure and prevent accidental biting or rubbing against the surgical site.

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5. Soft Diet: Stick to a soft diet in the days following the extraction. Consuming easy-to-chew foods such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, and smoothies will reduce the strain on your jaw and make it easier to fall asleep without discomfort.

6. Warm Saltwater Rinse: Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater before going to bed. This will help keep the surgical site clean and promote healing. Be gentle while rinsing to avoid dislodging any blood clots.

7. Relaxation Techniques: Engage in relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises before bedtime. This will help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to fall asleep more easily despite the discomfort.

Common Questions and Answers:

1. Can I sleep on my stomach after wisdom teeth extraction?
Sleeping on your stomach can put pressure on your face and increase the risk of swelling. It’s best to avoid this position and sleep on your back or side instead.

2. How long should I elevate my head after wisdom teeth extraction?
You should elevate your head for at least the first two days after the extraction. This will help reduce swelling and promote healing.

3. Can I use a heating pad to soothe the pain?
Avoid using a heating pad immediately after the extraction, as it can increase swelling. Stick to ice packs instead. However, after the first 24 hours, you can try a warm compress to alleviate any residual pain.

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4. What type of pillow is best for elevating my head?
A wedge pillow or extra pillows stacked behind your back should provide adequate elevation for your head.

5. Can I use over-the-counter pain medication to help me sleep?
Over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used to manage pain and help you sleep. However, consult your dentist or surgeon for specific recommendations.

6. How long will it take for the swelling to go down?
Swelling typically peaks within the first 48-72 hours after the extraction and gradually subsides over the next few days. However, individual healing times may vary.

7. When can I return to my normal sleeping routine?
You can return to your normal sleeping routine once the pain and swelling have significantly subsided, usually within a week or two after the extraction. However, always listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

By following these tips and getting the rest you need, you can ensure a smoother recovery after wisdom teeth extraction. Remember to consult your dentist or oral surgeon for personalized advice based on your specific situation.