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How Long Does Pain Last After Tooth Extraction?

How Long Does Pain Last After Tooth ExtractionIf your dentist or oral surgeon has recommended the removal of one of your wisdom teeth – and you’re wondering if it would be a painful procedure, or it may be painful afterward – then no need to worry. Thanks to modern dentistry, most dental procedures, including wisdom tooth extraction, have become virtually painless. Furthermore, with advanced surgical techniques, dentists can now remove wisdom teeth without causing significant swelling or post-operative pain.

But before we discuss the post-extraction pain or what to expect when you come for an extraction at your dentist office, it is better to understand why you feel pain when a tooth is removed from its socket.

Why Do I Get Pain in Other Teeth After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

Teeth, including the wisdom teeth, are only extracted if they have an irreversible infection that cannot be treated through a root canal procedure. Once an infected wisdom tooth is removed, it is common to have swelling or pain in the region post-operatively. This pain is felt because of the underlying inflammation, and because of the action of the anti-inflammatory cells of the body that are fighting against the harmful bacteria that are present at the site of infection.

How to Feel Better After Getting Wisdom Teeth Removed?

You will not experience any pain or discomfort during the wisdom tooth extraction procedure, as your dentist has already administered anesthesia to make you pain-free. However, after the procedure has been completed – and once the effect of the anesthetic starts to wear off – you might feel discomfort in the region. To prevent this, your dentist will ask you to take a painkiller after 30 minutes of the extraction, to ensure that you remain pain-free once the effect of the anesthetic fades away.

How to reduce tooth extraction pain at home

Here are some other things you can do to minimize the discomfort associated with the wisdom tooth extraction:

  • Apply Icepacks – apply icepacks on the skin opposite to the extracted tooth for 10-20 minutes at a time, after every 3-4 hours. This will help in minimizing the inflammation and will speed up the healing process.
  • Maintain Optimal Oral Hygiene – you can resume your normal oral hygiene routine 24 hours after the extraction. However, you must take care not to dislodge the blood clot when you are brushing around the extraction site. Maintaining a clean extraction site will accelerate healing and minimize the pain and swelling.  
  • Avoid Smoking – smoking, especially after removal of a wisdom tooth, can cause delayed healing of the socket and may also cause increased pain.
  • Saline Warm Water Rinses – rinse your mouth with a saline rinse after every few hours, to kill the harmful bacteria. However, you should make sure not to swish the warm water with excessive pressure as it can dislodge the blood clot and delay the healing process.
  • Soft Diet – dentists recommend a soft diet for a few days following wisdom tooth removal. Doing so will ensure that a good blood clot forms – which is necessary for optimal healing – and reduces post-operative pain and swelling.

What Is A Dry Socket?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a dry socket is a painful condition that occurs 3-4 days after a tooth is extracted. A dry socket occurs because of the failure of the blood clot to form around the extraction site, or because of its premature dislodgment, leaving the underlying bone and nervous tissue exposed and unprotected. This situation is characterized by severe pain arising 3-4 days after an extraction, accompanied by a smell from the extraction site and bad taste.

How Long Does A Dry Socket Last?

A dry socket, which is a common complication of a wisdom tooth extraction, can last for up to seven days. In the meantime, the pain and discomfort associated with a dry socket can be minimized by using painkillers and ensuring optimal oral hygiene.

Dos and Don’ts After Tooth Extraction

Good oral hygiene maintenance goes a long way in accelerating the post-extraction healing process. Here are a few things that you must avoid after getting a wisdom tooth removed:

  • Taking hot foods or drinks immediately after the extraction
  • Spitting or drinking with straws
  • Eating hard or crunchy foods
  • Touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers
  • Smoking

Tooth Extraction Pain Relief

Here are a few tips that can help you in minimizing the post-extraction dental pain:

  • Take pain relievers according to the instructions of your dentist
  • Use icepacks
  • Rinsing your mouth with saline water as it helps reduce swelling
  • Use oil of clove to reduce pain



  • Peter

    Dr Peter Doyle

    GDC No: 64847

    Peter qualified from Manchester University Dental School in 1989 and after returning to his hometown of Liverpool, he established Crosby Dental. He has a special interest in high-end cosmetic dentistry and orthodontic treatments. Peter offers private treatment only.
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