Pain after wisdom teeth removal:  What to expect

How much pain after wisdom teeth removal is normal?

Mild to moderate but manageable pain after wisdom teeth removal is normal. The way wisdom teeth have erupted (or not erupted) makes a difference in how sore you will be after this procedure.

Impacted wisdom teeth take more time and effort to remove and will take longer to recover.



Most often one or two days of mild or moderate pain that is easily controlled with medication followed by a few more days of tenderness is normal.

The pain may come and go but should gradually improve each day.


Pain that comes on suddenly or worsens a few days after the extractions could indicate a dry socket.

Knowing why you have discomfort sometimes makes it easier to get through.


 pain after a tooth extraction...

Most obviously…The extraction site takes time to heal.

Lesser known reasons include…

  • Soreness from the anesthetic ~ Since almost all dental anesthetics have the vasoconstrictor epinephrine, not only do you get numb but also blood flow to the area is reduced during the procedure. Epinephrine prolongs the time that you are numb and reduces the amount of bleeding. As the anesthetic wears off, normal blood flow returns to the area. Because there is more blood rushing back to the area, the time it takes for numbness to completely wear off may be the most painful. It is a good idea to take some type of pain medication when you are still very numb.
  • Injection site soreness ~ The place where dental anesthetic was injected can be sore for a day or two.
  • Sore jaw muscles ~ Opening wide for a long time can strain your jaw muscles.

How much pain is too much?

Pain that does not respond to medication or gradually improve should be reported to your dentist or surgeon.

Watch for these signs of a dry socket.

Be sure to follow after care instructions to minimize discomfort.


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