How To Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal

5 min read

Most wisdom teeth removals are painful, but it’s not the extraction surgery that’s worrisome. That’s the easy part.

Most people in the recovery process can find it hard to sleep, with little choice but to endure it. But this guide should help with that!

To sleep after wisdom teeth removal, take the prescribed pain medication, remove any breathing obstructions, such as gauze, to help prevent bleeding. Sleep on your back in an elevated position, with 3 to 4 pillows to lift your head if needed.

Let’s answer your questions.

Why Is it So Painful?

Even with the very best and most experienced dentist in the universe, the extraction site is tender, if not painful, due to the roots of the wisdom teeth being firmly rooted to the bone.

The dentist’s job is to remove the teeth from the surrounding tissue and bone without causing damage.

The latter is impossible, and as a consequence, the bone and soft tissue get pulled and yanked around, resulting in the pain or tenderness we experience after this procedure.

How Is It Possible To Sleep With A Swollen Face and Pain?

You can do some things to minimize the pain you are feeling and get a decent night’s sleep. 

There can be some minor complications when it comes to sleeping.

Pain swelling leaking blood from the site of the wound would contribute to the complications you may have.

Generally, the blood issue subsides quickly as your blood platelets kick into action and coagulate any blood flow.

Swelling can be a bigger issue as it takes time to reduce. In addition to the swelling, you may have some bruising starting to show a couple of days later.

Following the instructions of your dental surgeon is the starting palace. He may have given you a course of antibiotics and painkillers to manage the pain and use a prophylactic to prevent any infection from setting in.

Sleeping Position and Preparing for Bed

Depending on the severity of your reaction to the procedure, you may find the best option is to try and sleep upright for the first night.

Sleeping upright will help any fluids and swelling dissipate. Furthermore, it is imperative to remove any gauze from the dentist’s mouth to help prevent bleeding.

If you are ready to sleep, remove anything that could be a choking hazard.

Pain medication

Your dental surgeon will have prescribed pain killers, knowing you may need them in the first twenty-four hours after surgery.

Take the prescribed medicine as stated on the bottle. Taking the correct dosage is essential even if the anesthesia has still not entirely worn off.

Pain medication will also help you sleep through the night.

Keep Hydrated

Allowing your mouth to become dry will likely be more uncomfortable for you. Drinking cool water or as cold as you can handle will help to hydrate your mouth, and the cold will reduce some of the swellings.

Avoid hot drinks. Hot drinks could irritate the wound site. The same goes for hot foods. The best foods to eat in the first two days are ice creams and cold yogurts.

Ice Pack

Don’t be worried about applying an ice pack or two to the swollen area of your jaw. It will reduce swelling and inflammation.

Hot and cold compresses can work well and reduce swelling fast. If you find it acceptable, give it a try.

Don’t Brush Your teeth

On this occasion, you will be forgiven for not brushing your teeth before bedtime. It’s important not to aggravate the surgical site and cause any further bleeding.

If you do find the urge to brush your teeth, keep clear of the surgical site. Should you dislodge a blood clot, you can add some pain.

Sometimes bleeding from the gums can seem excessive, but it’s nothing to worry about in most cases.

You Are Ready to Sleep

You may feel the need to sleep upright for the first night, which is normal and will help with inflammation and swelling.

This is an ideal sleeping position if you can recline slightly in a chair with your head back to keep your airways free.

If you feel it’s impossible to sleep in a chair, then elevate your bed pillows, maybe as many as four pillows, to keep you in a position suited for the surgical procedure you underwent.

Although they look inviting and comfortable, Fluffy pillows are not always the best pillows for support and comfort.

If you have a memory foam pillow set, these will work much better as you can support your head and neck.

It is essential to have an upright position and lay on your back. Side sleeping will be painful and may cause the wound site to bleed while you sleep.

Avoid sleeping on a slippers pillow protector. You may decide to put a toweling pillow protector cover to prevent any blood leakage on expensive bed covers.

Keep The Bedroom Cool

A cool bedroom will help you sleep better. A room at 64.4F is the ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep.

Like many of us, if you wake in the night, take advantage of this time to top up your pain killers as prescribed.

Remember, a hydrated mouth will also help with the healing process.

A dark room always enhances the sleep process, keep your cell phone switched off, or at the very least face down. The blue light from a cell phone is similar to the wavelengths emitted from the sun. The light will wake you when you need to rest most.

Reduce Stress

After a traumatic experience, we feel relieved the procedure is over and done with, but the stress and anxiety of the day can stay with you.

Studies show that aromatherapy oils are perfect for reducing stress. Lavender oil is known to enhance sleep. You may want to use a few drops of lavender or your favorite essential oil to ensure you drop off to sleep quickly in a stress-free environment.

You can use cotton balls with the oil-soaked cotton and place where you get the most aroma that suits you best.

Candle burners are out of the question in a bedroom and potentially very dangerous, don’t use them.

Listen to Soothing Music

Your favorite music through headphones at a lower level will reduce stress levels and is an excellent way to fall asleep.

Slow music with a beat that emulates your heart rhythm works wonders when drifting off to sleep.

Genres such as classical and folk music are said to be the best for relaxation and sleep.

You may wish to listen to an audiobook. That’s always a great way to unwind after a stressful day in dental surgery.

Other Great Tips

If you are an exercise enthusiast, avoid exercise for at least forty-eight hours after having wisdom teeth removed. Exercise will increase your blood pressure and cause additional pain and bleeding from the surgical site.

Rest is key to a fast recovery, and aggravating the surgical site in any way will only extend the recovery time.

Avoid drinking with straws or anything that causes a sucking action. Although using a straw may seem harmless, it introduces pressure to the wound site and can cause bleeding.

Why is this important to you?

Dislodging blood clots can cause the extraction socket to become dry. When this happens, patients experience a dull throbbing ache from the wound site—resulting in more discomfort and downtime from their daily routines.

How Long Before I Recover

There is no set time, but as a rule of thumb, recovery takes a while, but you should be pain-free within three to four days.

We are all different and heal at different rates. If you are young, then expect to be back to your routine quickly. If you are a little older, the process of healing will take longer.

If you have persistent pain, check back in with your dentist, there may be something that needs checking, or an infection may be setting in.

Your dentist will have the skills to rectify the situation and get you back to normal as quickly as possible.

Bottom Line

Recovery after wisdom teeth removal is about rest. If you can rest well and sleep, then your recovery time will be shortened.

Sleeping in an elevated position may seem alien to you, but, in all honesty, it’s not the wrong way to sleep. With great pillows for support and a cool room, you will fall asleep in no time.

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