How Long Do Teeth Hurt After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

With any dental procedure, it's important to understand your recovery. Here, we explore wisdom teeth extraction and what you can expect afterward.
wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars which may grow in an adult between the age of 17 and 21, usually. You might have even heard an adult tell you that you must be "wise" when your final set of teeth come in, and this is usually as a nod to the age that you will experience this dental change. 

While wisdom teeth are completely normal, in rare cases, a lot of adults may not grow any wisdom teeth at all. While most adults won't notice any problems with their own, this set of teeth also has the potential to cause a lot of pain, dental issues and may even be severe enough to require an extraction. 

Here, this guide lets you know all about wisdom teeth and how to relieve wisdom teeth removal pain should you undergo an extraction. 

What is the Purpose of Wisdom Teeth? 

All teeth have a function for the human mouth, and molars which wisdom teeth are are there to grind down and flatten food. Molars are needed for human chewing and food breakdown, but wisdom teeth aren't usually required at all. It's believed that wisdom teeth were once vital for early humans to break down their particular diet, but now, as humans have evolved, wisdom teeth have less of a function. This is especially due to the evolution of the way we prepare, cook and eat food. 

Why Might You Need a Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth, due to their size and placement, can cause a lot of problems in the mouth and jaw. This is due to the fact that sometimes, they simply won't fit. As they are extra teeth that emerge later in adulthood, they can easily cause pressure, stress, and discomfort in the mouth. A teeth extraction may then be necessary, or even an emergency tooth extraction for those cases when wisdom teeth cause a dental emergency. 

There are many problems that can occur with wisdom teeth which may result in the need for an extraction. These include: 

  • Overcrowding of the mouth
  • Wisdom teeth growing through incorrectly 
  • Wisdom teeth pushing other teeth
  • Jaw pain and problems 
  • An increased risk of tooth decay
  • An increased risk of cysts or gum issues

What is the Process of Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

Your dentist or oral surgeon will be able to advise on whether a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary and then perform the wisdom tooth surgery. An initial X-ray will usually be required to determine the wisdom tooth's position and how to proceed with treatment. 

As with many dental procedures, a localized anesthetic will be applied to the area around the wisdom teeth to numb it. It's important to note that wisdom teeth can still be there, even if you can't see them. You may have wisdom teeth sitting under the gum, out of view. If this is the case, then extraction will need to be performed by cutting into the gum. The tooth will then be removed by pieces through the opening. 

If the wisdom tooth has broken through the gum, this will need to be loosened from the socket and pulled free. 

After this is done, you may need stitches in your gum if an incision was made. If not, you may be asked to keep an application of gauze against the empty tooth socket and wait until blood clots have formed in the extraction site. This is all normal and part of the healing process.

What Can You Expect After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

It's important not to try and dislodge any blood clots that might have formed where the tooth is removed, as these are important for the recovery process. You may be prescribed antibiotics by your dentist if you have a related infection. 

You should also receive proper home care instructions to ease the pain and discomfort for the days after surgery. Following this oral surgery, you would usually be advised to avoid hot drinks, certain foods, and strenuous activity. 

How Long Do Teeth Hurt After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

This can vary from individual to individual, but usually, you can expect pain and discomfort for three days up to a week after the procedure. However, pain can be longer and more severe if you have a dry socket (where the blood clot has been dislodged) or if you have an infection. 

Can You Still Go to Work or School?

rest wisdom teeth extraction

It's always advised to take time off from work or school after such a procedure. Usually, a few days is advised for recovery, but this might be more depending on how much pain you're in. You should be back to a normal routine after a week or so. 

How to Ease Tooth Pain After Wisdom Teeth Removal

It's always important to know how to relieve wisdom teeth removal pain for a better recovery. Finding a strong pain reliever should be your first port of call, and taking regular pain relief methods will help your recovery. You can use an ice pack to help with jaw and tooth pain, and also make sure to avoid any food or drink which will cause discomfort.

Getting plenty of rest will hasten your recovery and enable you to deal with the pain in a much better way. Avoid excess movement and keep your head and jaw as still as possible. 


Wisdom teeth extraction can be very common, and finding out how to relieve wisdom teeth removal pain can be extremely helpful for your recovery. Finding a dependable dentist also helps you to feel more at ease, such as our wisdom teeth removal Asheville NC. Should you require wisdom tooth extraction or have any questions about this, you can contact us anytime to understand your options. 

It's important to never ignore pain or problems with your wisdom teeth, even if you can't see that the tooth has fully emerged.