How Should I Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal?Munil Koppanati
After a wisdom tooth removal, you may experience some sensitivity and pain as the numbing agents used at the office start to run out. This could make sleeping a bit uncomfortable at least for the first 24 hours. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure you get a good night’s sleep while ensuring your gums heal as quickly as possible.
In terms of positioning, it’s recommended to sleep with your head elevated while avoiding sleeping on your sides. Use a pillow or two to prop your head up, helping to decrease the amount of blood to your gums, and thereby decrease swelling and irritation. Do your best to avoid sleeping flat as that can promote blood flow to your gums, cause discomfort, and could lead to increased bleeding.
And most importantly, if you have gauze placed over the site of your wisdom tooth extraction you should remove it as it can be a choking hazard while you’re sleeping.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, taking either a prescribed or over the counter pain medication 10 minutes before going to bed can certainly help. This will decrease pain and make it more comfortable to get situated in bed. Along with this, make sure your bedroom is dark and kept at a slightly cooler temperature. Research has shown that most people, regardless of having a wisdom tooth extracted or not, sleep much better when their environment is free of distracting light and is kept slightly cold. And lastly, avoid smoking or alcohol before going to bed, as these things can increase sensitivity and swelling of the gums.
Is It OK to Sleep on Your Side After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
It’s recommended to avoid sleeping on your side, as unnecessary pressure on your cheeks could increase bleeding risk. Also, make sure you’re sleeping with your head elevated using a few pillows as this can help divert blood from your gums and decrease the amount of bleeding you experience. Ideally, using a cold compress a few minutes before going to bed can also help decrease the chances of bleeding when sleeping.
If you absolutely need to sleep on your side and have had only a single wisdom tooth removed, you can try to sleep on the unaffected side. However, this isn’t ideal as you may mistakenly toss and turn, causing you to sleep on the affected side and lead to unintentional pressure on your gums and teeth.
After waking up, it’s important to rinse your mouth with warm water and check the site of the extraction for excessive swelling or signs of infection. If you notice anything concerning, it’s important to contact your oral surgeon as soon as possible.