Having your wisdom teeth removed isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Following the procedure it can be painful, and you will have to make a few lifestyle changes to enhance the healing process and help with the post-surgical pain. Symptoms like jaw swelling, headache, and pain that follow the procedure might also make it challenging to engage in normal day-to-day activities. And so working out how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal may be on your mind.
You’re not the only one. Many people have trouble with sleeping due to discomfort they experience after this surgery.
However, fortunately for you, we have compiled 11 simple and practical tips that will help improve your chances of getting a peaceful sleep after having a wisdom tooth removed.
Follow these valuable tips, and enjoy a relaxing and peaceful sleep after your surgery.
So read on to find out how you can sleep after wisdom teeth removal:
11 Tips To Help You Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal
1. Remove The Gauze
After the wisdom tooth extraction process is done, your dentist will place gauze pads on the incision site. The gauze serves different purposes. But the main thing it does is apply light pressure over the incision site to help your body clot the wound and stop the bleeding process.
It is recommended that you remove the gauze a few hours after the surgery to avoid choking accidents. And frankly speaking, having cotton wool in your mouth while sleeping won’t exactly give you the best sleep of your life!
So, after some hours following the surgery, you must ensure you remove the gauze pads before you go to bed.
2. Sleep With Your Head in an Elevated Position
According to Dartmouth Clinics, after getting a tooth extraction surgery, the patient should sleep or stay in a position that will keep the head elevated. Preferably in a position higher than the heart.
It would also be helpful to use an extra pillow to keep your head in a more elevated position.
Doing this will help reduce swelling and promote clotting on the incision site.
3. Take The Prescribed Pain Relief Medication
Before surgery, you will be placed under anaesthesia to numb the tissue around your teeth so you won’t feel pain. However, a few hours after the surgery, the anaesthesia will start to wear off, and you will begin to feel some pain.
Of course being in pain won’t exactly give you some restful shut-eye.
That is why it is important to take the pain relief medication that your dentist prescribes.
It is also important that you take the medication as directed. For instance, don’t stop using the medicine without completing the prescribed dose.
4. Watch Your Diet
After your surgery, you must watch your food intake.
Generally, hot drinks and big or hot meals should be avoided as they can cause more pain to an already sensitive mouth; they can also dislodge any blood clots that have already formed.
You should take cold and soft meals only for the first 24 hours, after which you can proceed to eat warm meals.
Additionally, avoid eating crunchy and spicy meals, alcoholic drinks, or smoking.
It would also be best to eat a few hours before bed.
5. Create a Conducive Environment For Sleeping
After surgery, your body will be very sensitive. So to further facilitate sleeping peacefully, you should create a conducive and relaxed environment for sleeping.
Keep your room moderately quiet, relaxed, and in dark or soft light. You can play soft music or light scented candles – just make sure to blow them out before sleeping. Basically set up your bedroom in a way that will keep you calm and comfortable for sleep.
Your body will need all the help it can get to distract from the pain and induce sleep more easily.
6. Sleep On Your Side
It would be better to sleep on your side for the first few nights after your surgery.
Sleeping on your side will make it easier to keep your head propped up on the pillow and control the bleeding – as per our tip number three.
7. Minimize Your Physical Activities
During this period, your body needs all the rest and energy it can get to speed up the healing process.
So make sure you don’t over-exert yourself for the first few days after the surgery.
Minimize stressful activities, and spend lots of time resting and conserving your energy. Doing this will also leave your body in a more primed state for sleeping and help you fall asleep faster and easier.
8. Apply Ice Before Bed
According to a study carried out in 2019, applying ice after a wisdom tooth extraction process will help with the pain and reduce swelling.
You can wrap the ice pack in a cloth and place it on your jaw for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also include this step in your nightly routines to reduce pain and help you sleep after a wisdom teeth removal.
9. Don’t Sleep On Your Back
Sleeping flat on your back after a wisdom tooth extraction could cause complications, so it should be avoided.
As we mentioned earlier, it is preferable to sleep on your side with your head in an elevated position.
10. Don’t Sleep Late
We mentioned earlier that your body needs as much rest as it can get during this period. So staying up late into the night should be avoided.
Even though you might sleep during the day, your body must experience A rejuvenating sleep. The hours of 10pm-2 am tends to be when the body actively repairs itself the most.
11. Don’t Leave Your Mouth Unwashed
It would help to wash your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash, especially after eating.
This is to get rid of bacteria and prevent their growth in the socket.
How To Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal: Our Final Thoughts
No matter how little it is, having surgery isn’t exactly a visit to Disneyland. One of the most challenging aspects is how to continue everyday activities after the surgery.
Sleeping can prove difficult and elusive, especially with the pain and discomforts. That’s why many seek out advice on how to sleep after a wisdom teeth removal.
But, if you follow our steps listed above, you will enjoy a more relaxed sleep.