How much swelling is normal after getting your Wisdom teeth pulled?

My friend got his wisdom teeth taken out this past Saturday at about 2:30. It’s been almost exactly three days and his cheeks are still really swollen and painful. Is this normal? He’s been putting ice packs on them and taking IBUPROFEN and the anti-biotic his doctor gave him, but the swelling still hasn’t gone down.

I searched on google, but I find conflicting answers. Is there a good website that has up-to-date, solid medical information?

Thanks for your help.

The best thing for your friend to do would be to call his dentist and discuss his concerns.

However, from anecdotal evidence (my own wisdom teeth, friends’) significant swelling after 3 days is not at all unusual. Remember it IS minor surgery.

I had only one wisdom tooth extracted (medium impaction) and it took about 5 days for the swelling to start receding…I didn’t eat anything solid until the 7th day after the extraction…

I had all 4 pulled at the same time and my cheeks were swollen like a stuffed chipmunk for a couple of weeks. I could push on them and blood would squirt into my mouth through the stitches. My cheeks turned green & yellow like a big bruise.

I guess I was lucky. I had all 4 taken out (1 even broke off and had to be taken out in chunks), and that night I had chinese smorgasboard for dinner!

The next day I went rollerblading and played tennis.

The only thing that really hurt were the corners of my mouth, and I also had a bruise on my chest from when the dentist put his knee on it to give him more leverage!

From what I have read, and from my own tooth extractions, it depends on the surgery itself. Removing the lower wisdom teeth is harder on you than removing the upper wisdom teeth, I was told, because there are significantly more nerves in your jaw than in the upper portion of your mouth. Depending on whether the teeth were impacted, bone may have been broken to remove the teeth, causing much more swelling and pain.

I had my lower teeth removed while I was in the Navy and I swear I remember getting a shot of a steriod or some kind of anti-swelling agent in my cheeks, but no one else I’ve talked to has had such a thing. Even at that I did have some swelling, but I don’t remember the time frame. I just had my upper teeth removed about two weeks ago and there was no swelling at all. They also came right out, each tooth probably took about 45 seconds to a minute to remove if I have any sense of time. Both extractions were done with just novocaine or lidocaine, no gas or anything.

If your friend is concerned he should really contact the dentist, but if there isn’t any significant pain and he doesn’t see any infection I don’t think there’s a problem. Still, if he’s concerned just call the dentist’s office. They’re happy to help. It won’t be a bother. Tooth extractions can have serious problems like infection, or painful problems like dry socket. They’re used to getting calls about this. :slight_smile:

I wasn’t swollen that much for the first couple days, but around the third day it really started getting bad. I’d say it’s normal to still be pretty swollen on the third day. It was a week or so before I was eating normal food again, and longer before I could open my mouth all the way. I managed to avoid taking any of the perscription drugs they gave me; I just took a lot of Advil, and was mostly fine.

My brother and I had our wisdom teeth taken out on the same day (both of us had all four done). I stopped with the ice packs and pain killers after a day and the swelling was all gone a day later, though I had some tenderness for about two weeks. My brother did the ice pack thing constantly for two or three days and still had ridiculous chipmunk cheeks (seriously, he looked like he had a couple tennis balls stuffed in his mouth) for almost a week after.

This is a perfect time for merciless teasing. The fuzzy-headed glare is priceless. :wink:

Let me just throw in my 2 experiences.

A friend of mine had his pulled out in Grade 12 and was back in school the day after the surgery with very little swelling and he had all 4 pulled out. OTOH, I also had all 4 pulled in Grade 12 and was out of action for a week. Even after a week, I was still sore and had no interest in returning to school.

[hijack/ Also, after about 4 days of popping pills constantly, I had reached a point where I couldn’t swallow pills anymore for some reason. So I had to use Children’s Chewable Tylenol and I still can’t swallow pills 4 years later. /]

Seems like everyone responds differently to the surgery and if your friend has concerns tell him to see his dentist. It is surgery.

BTW, I loved playing with my flaps of gums from where the teeth were puller after the stitches broke apart and dissolved.

When I had all four WT taken out at the same time, my gums were so swollen I couldn’t close my jaws enough to touch my upper and lower teeth together for a week!

well, for the first week after I had my wisdom teeth pulled, all I ate was fish fingers, because that’s all I could fit through the gap in my teeth. 3 days is not extroardinary. They should have given him medication for over a week, hence, the effects should last for over a week,