How Long Does Swelling Last After Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Wisdom teeth no longer play a role in your bite, and should almost always be removed. But many patients dread this. Even though there is a risk for tooth decay, crooked teeth, jaw pain, and more from an impacted tooth, many patients wait until the very last moment because of their fears with bleeding, pain, and above all else – swelling.

Dr. Cureton’s goal is to remove teeth as carefully as possible, with no discomfort during the process and as minimal discomfort as possible afterward. We also have tools available to help you if you’re feeling anxious. But it’s true that swelling can happen, so it’s natural to wonder how much swelling will occur and how long that swelling with last.

About Swelling and Wisdom Tooth Removal

In order to extract a wisdom tooth, Dr. Cureton has to make a deep incision into the gum, remove the tissue that surrounds the tooth, and then pull and disconnect the tooth at its roots. Patients are numb or asleep throughout the process, but it does cause some temporary trauma to your gums.

When your tissues go through trauma, they start to swell in order to protect the damaged area and heal faster. The more that was required to remove the tooth, the more swelling is possible – but this can differ between individuals. That swelling may be pronounced for those prone to swelling that also had deeply embedded wisdom teeth.

How Long Does the Swelling Last?

The good news is that swelling tends to be short lived. Most swelling either completely subsides or reduces considerably in only two or three days, with at most 5 to 7 days of visible swelling. We also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications that help to reduce swelling even further.

But if you’d like to help it along, so that your swelling decreases faster (often in as few as two days) there are some things you can do:

  • Maintain Healthy Dental Care – Dr. Cureton will advise you on how to care for your teeth after the procedure, including absorbing away any bleeding and using salt water rinses. The cleaner the wound is, the healthier it is (with less risk of infection), which can reduce swelling time.
  • Cold Compresses – Like any swollen area of the body, placing an ice pack on the swollen area can provide some relief from swelling and may help reduce any discomfort that you experience as well.
  • Chew the Right Foods – The area where your tooth was removed may be sensitive for a while. Chewing any solid foods near that area has the potential to cause some damage or potentially lead to infection, which in turn means more/longer swelling. Soft or liquid foods are recommended in the beginning to prevent the risk.
  • Rest – Rest is not just for your comfort. Resting gives your gums a chance to heal. You have limited resources in your body at any given time. If you rest, you’ll be better able to allow your body to heal itself, which means the swelling should reduce faster.

Make sure you keep to Dr. Cureton’s recommendations and care, as there may be specific needs depending on the procedure and your teeth. But if you care for yourself, take your medication, and get some rest, you’ll find that the swelling goes away faster and there will be less discomfort throughout the process.


To schedule an appointment with us, simply give us a call at 831-449-8363 or stop by our office and meet the Dr. Cureton. 620 E. Alvin Dr. #E Salinas Ca 93906

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