March 22, 2023
Medically Reviewed By Matthew T. Streelman, DDS, MD

blogimages | mercer island oral & maxillofacial surgeryOn average, around 5 million Americans undergo wisdom teeth removal every year. It is a very common procedure with a comparatively short recovery time. However, there is still a recovery process that may temporarily affect your diet, your ability to work, and your exercise regimen. 

If you are preparing for wisdom teeth removal, you may wonder just how much recovery time you will need before you can return to your everyday routine. 

Eating After Wisdom Teeth Removal

In the hour following your procedure, you should avoid eating or drinking anything. You want to give your body time to form blood clots in your sockets in order to help protect your mouth from infection and complications.

During the first week of recovery, you should stick to soft and liquid foods and avoid any foods that are sticky, sugary, chewy, crunchy, spicy, or acidic.

Foods you can eat include:

  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Applesauce

Foods you should avoid include:

  • Candy
  • Caramels
  • Chocolate
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers

You should avoid drinking fluids like coffee and alcohol that can irritate or promote bacterial growth at the site of surgery. Also, you should avoid drinking through a straw. The suction method you use to drink from a straw can dislodge your blood clots.

Everyone’s healing timeline will look different, but you will likely be able to resume your regular diet after one or two weeks.

Working After Wisdom Teeth Removal

The downtime associated with wisdom teeth removal is typically minimal. You’ll be able to return to work or school within a few days, keeping the disruption of your routine to a minimum. Giving yourself plenty of time to rest and recover is critical for quick and easy healing.

Dr. Streelman does recommend that all clients give themselves a full 2-3 days of rest to recover before returning to most daily activities. Simple everyday behaviors like talking, lifting, bending, and driving have the potential to dislodge your blood clots, which can lead to dry socket. Dry socket is a painful complication where the extraction sites are left exposed and are vulnerable to debris from oral bacteria and food, which can lead to infection.

Exercising After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Before exercising or playing sports, Dr. Streelman recommends waiting a minimum of four days following your procedure. This timeline may change depending on how many of your wisdom teeth were removed, how involved or complicated your surgery was, and the type of exercise you want to do.

When you move your body, your blood pressure rises as the body’s demand for circulation increases. Although exercise is good for you, exercising too soon after wisdom teeth removal can cause your extraction sites to bleed excessively.

If exercise is a part of your routine, talk to Dr. Streelman before surgery for more information.

More About Wisdom Teeth Removal

At Mercer Island Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Issaquah, we are big advocates for patient education. Visit our website for helpful information on the procedures, surgeries, and treatments we offer, from wisdom teeth removal to jaw surgery.