How to Sleep after Wisdom Teeth Removal


Got your wisdom teeth extracted?  

Looking for the right way to sleep after wisdom tooth removal? Want to know the do’s and don’ts before sleeping? You have come to the right place.  

You must be wondering whether you can sleep on your side after having a tooth extracted? What is the best way to sleep after wisdom teeth removal?  

This article will explain about the precaution and care to be taken after wisdom teeth removal.  

Let us explore this process and its treatment in depth.  

What is a wisdom tooth and why is it extracted?  

During our teenage years, we usually develop a third set of molars, at the back of our mouth.  

The last ( third ) set of molars are called wisdom teeth.  

These sets of molars are formed during childhood, but they erupt only at teenage.  

The reason wisdom teeth are extracted is because they are not replacement teeth but extra teeth, so they have no room in our mouth.  

It is very difficult to take care of them because of their location, which is at the back of our mouth and they are more susceptible to cavities and other gum diseases.  

If the wisdom tooth erupts partially, it can lead to a lot of pain.  

Sleeping after Wisdom Teeth Removal

Before we get into how to sleep after wisdom teeth extraction, it is important to discuss things to do before sleeping after wisdom teeth removal.  

The following measures should be followed, before going to sleep :-  

It is recommended to consume all medicines that are prescribed by the dentist after this extraction procedure. Do not skip it as this medicine will subdue pain while sleeping, thus resulting in better sleep.  

Once the anesthesia effect starts to subside, there is an increase in pain which won’t let you sleep comfortably. In order to prevent infections, suppress inflammation and swelling. Thereby, leading to good sleep such medicines must be consumed as per the dosage and recommended time of consumption.  

Do’s and don’ts to keep in mind after the extraction process :-  

  • Do not brush your teeth, as it may dislodge the blood clot and cause heavy bleeding.  
  • For the first 24 hours, brushing has to be avoided to prevent bleeding and dislodging of the clot.  
  • Mouth – wash of any kind, is prohibited after this procedure.  
  • Soothing, cool fluids are recommended for pain relief and comfort.  
  • Staying hydrated is extremely crucial.  
  • Avoid hot fluids and do not drink with the help of a straw.  

What are the Precautions to be followed ?  

  • A cold, ice pack treatment is recommended. This ice must be wrapped in a cloth and placed on the cheeks. This reduces pain and suppresses the swelling. This must be carried on for at least 15 minutes. 
  • You can also use tea bags as they contain “tannin acid.”  
  • Tannin acid is helpful in reducing bleeding.  
  • A moist tea bag application for approximately 10 to 15 minutes can be extremely beneficial.  

How to Sleep after Wisdom Teeth Removal?  

How to sleep with wisdom tooth pain? You must be wondering this. The answer to that is –  

  • After wisdom teeth extraction, it is recommended to keep your body at an angle of 45 degrees and keep your head elevated.  
  • Pillows should be used to keep your body at this angle.  
  • Sleeping at this angle will significantly reduce swelling and help you get a comfortable night’s sleep.  
  • “Head elevated above the heart level position” is suggested for better comfort. 
  • The reason why you should sleep at this angle is because the pain and swelling will be significantly reduced in this pose.  
  • This position will prevent bleeding and give your gums the optimal time to heal.  
  • Another reason why this sleeping angle is recommended is because it is anti-gravity. This angle counters gravity and does not allow pressure to build up on the extracted area.  
  • Hence, sleeping in this position prevents pain and decreases swelling.  
  • It is advised to use a pair of pillows to assist you so that you can sleep in this position.  

Hence, this is the recommended way for sleeping after tooth extraction.  

Tips To Help You Sleep Better After Wisdom Tooth Extraction :-  

  1. Avoid sleeping in a flat position because it promotes inflammation and leads to swelling.  
  2. Studies suggest that a dark, serene and cool environment promotes better sleep. The recommended room temperature is between 60°F and 76°F. This must be strictly followed for good rest.  
  3. Avoid sleeping on a leather couch due to its slick surface.  
  4. Listen to peaceful, soothing and relaxing music. In order to sleep better.  
  5. Avoid eating hard foods.  
  6. Avoid intense workouts until you have fully recovered.  
  7. Consume only soft, semi solid food articles.  
  8. Avoid going to bed late at night after wisdom tooth extraction; the more you sleep, the better you recover.  
  9. Addictive items like alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco must be avoided till maximum extent. Science suggests that these articles halt the process of natural healing, thereby causing hindrance in pain relief.  
  10. Avoid taking “Aspirin” which has been linked to bleeding after wisdom tooth extraction.  

If you are an asthma patient, you should not take the pain relief medicine based on Ibuprofen.  

  1. Do not chew around the wisdom tooth extraction area ( while consuming food).  
  2. Avoid any disturbances while sleeping. A good night’s rest is much needed after the extraction process.  

Can You Sleep On Your Side After Wisdom Tooth Removal ?  

Experts do not recommend sleeping on your side after wisdom teeth extraction. The major reason behind this is that swelling and inflammation gets increased, while resting in such a position. This leads to uncomfortable and disturbed sleep, which slows down the process of natural recovery.  

Sleeping on your side will also adversely affect the protective material (if any), which helps keep bleeding in check.  

Hence, avoid sleeping on your side after wisdom tooth extraction.  

How Long Should You Sleep In The Elevated Position ?  

The dentists recommend that it is good to sleep in this position for at least 3 days for a better recovery.  

Sleeping in the elevated position for 3 days would speed up the healing process and allow for a quick and complication-free recovery.  

Why Does Tooth Extraction Hurt More At Night ?  

When a wisdom tooth gets extracted, it causes a disturbance in the surrounding area, which leads to physical trauma as well as mental discomfort.  

As a part of the natural process, the surrounding area gets inflamed, which causes severe pain.  

This severe pain could lead to insomnia in a few cases, as the discomfort and pain may prevent you from falling asleep.  

Depending on pain management, some people would find it very difficult at night. If the do’s and don’ts are not followed, then this might result in insomnia as the pain will increase, making it extremely difficult to sleep.  

Hence insomnia after wisdom teeth removal might occur in a few cases.  

Rinsing Is Permitted After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?  

Rinsing should not be done for the first 24 hours.  

Blood clots of all types must never be dislodged.  

Preventing blood clots is an important criteria after wisdom tooth extraction.  

To prevent infection and promote faster healing, rinsing should be avoided.  

Should I sleep with gauze after wisdom teeth removal ?  

This is a common question in the mind of those who have undergone the process of wisdom tooth extraction.  

You should not sleep with a gauze on your face because it causes choking and should be removed within 30 to 50 minutes.  

Which Food Is Recommended Before Sleeping?

  • Before sleeping, you can consume soft foods like broth, soups and yogurt.  
  • You can drink smoothies.  
  • Mashed potatoes, bananas and pumpkin are preferred.  

Why is sleeping after wisdom teeth removal important? 

Sleep and proper rest are very crucial after wisdom teeth extraction. Body healing and rejuvenation process is naturally stimulated by a sufficient amount of sleep. The more proper sleep you get, the better your recovery will be.  

This is why dentists tell you to not indulge in any intense physical activity as it can interfere with the healing process.  

The slow healing process can lead to infections and complications. Hence, adequate sleep, rest, recovery and rejuvenation are recommended.  

The less you sleep, the more the pain will increase and the healing process will take more time.  

Why does your sleeping position play an important role in your recovery?  

As we discussed, sleep plays an integral role in recovery, but the sleeping position after tooth extraction plays an important role too.  

Discomfort, inflammation and swelling naturally increase while laying flat, during sleep. Therefore, such a position must be avoided as much as possible.  

Sleeping in this position can increase pressure in the wisdom extraction area.  

This happens when we sleep on our sides. It also increases the pressure and hinders the healing process.  

Sleeping after tooth extraction should be in accordance with what is recommended by the dentist at an elevated position.  

How to combat the problems that might hinder your sleep ?  

  1. Nausea – Take ginger ale if you are feeling nauseous. 
  2. Pain – As discussed above, medicines prescribed by your dentist must be consumed to avoid the pain. 
  3. Bleeding – Do not spit excessively and use gauze to protect the extraction area, but do not forget to remove it before sleeping. 
  4. Swelling – For 15 to 20 minutes, use an ice pack or a tea bag. 


Sleeping after wisdom teeth removal is a challenge considering the pain and discomfort, especially in the first 24 hours. Sleep plays a very vital role in providing relief from this pain.  

When sleeping after wisdom teeth extraction, our sleeping position or posture plays a major role in the recovery process.  

Follow the do’s and don’ts mentioned in the article as it will help you sleep better and not increase your pain.  

Pain management and sound sleep should be the top priority for the next 72 hours after wisdom tooth extraction.  

Wishing you a speedy recovery.  

By Caitlyn

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