How should you sleep after wisdom teeth removal
Having your wisdom teeth taken out can sometimes result in mild pain, temporary numbness, soreness, tenderness, or tiredness. Because wisdom teeth extraction is often done while the patient is heavily medicated or under anesthesia, you’re likely going to be tired and in need of sleep after the surgery.
Your oral surgeon or dentist should fill you in on all of the after-care instructions once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, but if you are wondering how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal, you are not alone.
How to Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal
It is normal to wonder how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal. As you head to bed to hit the sack, make sure to take all gauze out of your mouth before you fall asleep. Leaving gauze in your mouth is extremely dangerous and can be a choking hazard.
After everything has been removed from your mouth, take any prescribed medications and drink cool water if you are able to do so. You can put an ice pack on your face to decrease pain and reduce swelling, but do not sleep on the ice pack. Don’t brush your teeth or use mouthwash. This will put you in a world of pain and potentially have other consequences.
When you’re ready for bed, stack a few pillows up and sleep with your head elevated and inclined. This is a comfortable way to help your body rest easy as well as reduce the facial swelling you may be experiencing. Don’t crash on your couch where a surface like leather or suede could have your head slipping and sliding.
Statistics indicate that sleeping with your head elevated is ideal for the first two days. Do not sleep on your side. Instead, let gravity work in your favor for a few days so you can heal quickly.
Take Your Pain Medication
When your anesthesia wears off, you may be in some pain – and any discomfort can hinder your efforts to fall asleep. Don’t try to tough it out. Instead, set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by taking your pain medication as directed by your oral surgeon.
Choose the Right Position
During the initial stages of healing, the tooth extraction site may ooze. Because of this, sleeping on your side is best, at least for the first night. Plus, if you lie flat on your back, you might experience more swelling. That could increase your pain and make resting an even greater challenge.
Elevate Your Head
After wisdom teeth extraction, you need to sleep with your head elevated for the first few nights. A single pillow should suffice when you’re sleeping on your side. If you’re having trouble falling asleep in that position, pile a few pillows behind you for support and lean back.
Follow Your Aftercare Instructions
For the best chance at snoozing the night away in comfort, you need to pay attention to your oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions. Take good care of yourself when you’re recovering from wisdom teeth extraction, and you’ll have a smoother and easier recovery experience.
To pave the way for a night of restful sleep, follow these guidelines:
- Apply ice and heat as directed until the time you go to bed
- Keep your physical activity to a bare minimum
- Stay hydrated, but don’t drink from a straw
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any form
- Satisfy your appetite before hitting the sack – try milk, fruit smoothies, low-sodium broth or nutritional supplement drinks