What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Maybe you’ve seen one of the many viral videos. The script is the same — a person saying funny and zany things with their mouth full of gauze after having their wisdom teeth extracted. Before the anesthesia has fully worn off, they speak their mind as their head remains in the clouds.

Statistics show that about 5 million Americans get their wisdom teeth removed every year, so chances are you’ll end up parting ways with your wisdom teeth. But after seeing these videos and hearing about the experiences of others, you might feel a little frightened of the procedure. Here’s what you can expect after getting your final adult molars extracted.

Is it time for your wisdom teeth to be removed? If so, come see the team at Le Dentistry & Associates in Norcross, GA. We’re a full-service dental practice offering quality general and cosmetic dental care and orthodontics. 

What are wisdom teeth?

What do wisdom teeth and the appendix have in common? If you guessed that they’re both body parts that no longer serve a purpose, you’re right. Wisdom teeth, when they grow in correctly, are another pair of molars you can use to grind up food. Thousands of years ago, before the advent of cooking, these molars would help you break down raw meat and tough, fibrous plants. Our evolved diets don’t really need another set of molars, especially when they can be so troublesome.

Why ‘wisdom’ teeth?

Wisdom teeth get their name from the age at which they start to appear. These final adult molars erupt somewhere in your late teens or early 20s — the time when you should (ideally) increase in maturity and wisdom.

Time to say goodbye

In many people, wisdom teeth arrive more than fashionably late. Your second molars probably arrived around ages 12-13, and there might not be room for another set of teeth. When there isn’t any room, wisdom teeth become impacted, or trapped below the gum tissue. Impacted teeth can lead to a host of oral health problems, including:

If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s time for extraction.

Life after extraction

Dr. Le and Dr. Hoang go over prep for the procedure and how to get ready for extraction. One part of prep won’t apply until after the surgery — you need to make sure you have transportation to get home.

On the day of your surgery, pain and swelling are normal. You’ll likely need to use gauze to soak up the blood near the surgery site, which is totally normal and should start to ease after the first 24 hours. Our providers tell you what painkillers to take, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

Stick to soft foods for a couple of days, which is a great excuse to drink milkshakes or eat ice cream. When you do drink liquids, don’t use a straw. Most people return to normal activities after 2-3 days, but you need to stay away from foods with small, sharp particles (popcorn, seeds, rice) or sharp edges (chips, nuts) for a while longer.


We will give you complete aftercare instructions to prevent infection and ensure proper healing. Dry sockets are the most common complication from wisdom teeth surgery. To prevent them, avoid strenuous activity, follow all food instructions, and gently rinse your mouth with warm salt several times a day during the week after your surgery. A few days after surgery, schedule a follow-up appointment to check the healing process and remove any sutures.

When it’s time to get your wisdom teeth extracted, Le Dentistry & Associates can help. Call our Norcross office today or book your appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What You Need to Know About Removing Your Wisdom Teeth

Your upcoming summer break may mean fun in the sun, but it’s also the perfect time to deal with your wisdom teeth once and for all. While no one looks forward to having a tooth pulled, we can keep you comfortable every step of the way.

Ways to Prevent Getting a Cavity

Working to prevent cavities can help you avoid tooth decay and also help you avoid early tooth loss. Read on to learn what you can do to help keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.

Why is TMJ more common in women?

Suffering from TMJ leads to chronic headaches, insomnia, neck and back pain, dizziness, and more. As research on this disorder continues, one thing is clear: women are far more likely to be diagnosed with TMJ. Why is that? Read more here to find out.

When to See a Dentist About a Toothache

Minor pain is part of life, and you usually know what caused it and can soldier through until it passes. But a toothache is different. Is it infected? Broken? When should you grin and bear it, and when should you seek help? Let’s find out.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

For centuries, dentures offered the only way to replace lost teeth. Dental implants have upped the game, offering a permanent, versatile, and long-lasting alternative to plates and bridges.

Cavities and Kids — The Importance of Stopping Decay

When kids get tooth decay, the process that happens when tooth enamel breaks down, they can get cavities and face other health consequences. Here’s why it’s important to stop tooth decay in children, and what you can do to help.