Third molars, or wisdom teeth, may be a major pain in the ass! These teeth need to be removed since they frequently cause pain. You may be curious about the healing timeline if you have had your wisdom teeth extracted or if you intend to do so in the near future. 

So, how long does it take wisdom teeth to heal?

Wisdom teeth, the final set of adult teeth that grow in your mouth, typically appear on the upper and lower sides of both ends when you’re around 17 to 21. In the United States, dentists perform nearly 5 million wisdom tooth removals each year, and about half of these procedures involve taking out all four wisdom teeth.

What Happens During a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

How Long Does It Take for Wisdom Teeth to Heal?

The answer to “How long does it take for wisdom teeth to heal?” is it often takes one to two weeks. Many people, however, may return to school, work, and regular activities in three to five days. Following the procedure, your surgeon will give specific recommendations to ensure your comfort during recovery.

Wisdom Teeth Recovery Timeline


Healing Stage

The first 24 hours Formation of blood clots.
2–3 days Improvement in mouth and cheek swelling
Seven days Potential removal of any remaining stitches by a dentist.
7–10 days Relief from jaw stiffness and soreness
Two weeks Healing of any mild facial bruising.

How to Speed-up Healing After a Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom Teeth Removal

After your tooth is removed, blood clots will form in the spot. These blood clots play a vital role in the healing process because they:

Not disturbing these blood clots during the first 24 hours is especially important. Avoid doing things like:

After 24 hours, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth using an antibacterial mouthwash.

What to Do After Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery

Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery

It’s essential to follow the advice of your dentist or surgeon to assist in your recovery. They will provide clear instructions about medications and steps to promote healing.

  1. Their guidance may include biting on a gauze pad in the area where the tooth was removed for up to an hour. 
  2. They might also recommend using an ice pack during the first few hours after surgery. Applying the ice pack to the outside of your face over the extraction site for 15 minutes, with 15-minute breaks, can help reduce discomfort and swelling.
  3. After undergoing general anesthesia for surgery at a hospital, you shouldn’t drive for 48 hours. 
  4. Consider skipping one or two days of work or school following the surgery so you can recover.
  5. Take OTC pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, as directed by your dentist or surgeon to reduce pain and discomfort following wisdom teeth surgery.

What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Eating soft or liquid foods is a good idea to protect your healing wounds. Here are some examples:

For the first few days following surgery, steer clear of foods that require chewing, like sticky candies or chewing gum. These can get stuck in the socket and harm the healing wounds. Also, avoid hard, crunchy foods such as chips, pretzels, nuts, seeds, and hot or spicy foods.

If you’ve had one or two wisdom teeth removed from one side of your mouth, you may be able to start chewing on the other side after 24 hours.


The answer to your query, “How long does it take for wisdom teeth to heal?” is that with proper care, it typically takes about two weeks to recover fully. But you can usually get back to your regular activities in just a few days.

Some folks need to have their wisdom teeth removed when there isn’t enough space in their mouth for these teeth. If not removed, these teeth can become stuck and lead to infections. Wisdom teeth that grow crookedly can also cause pain for some people.

If you’re looking for wisdom teeth removal surgery in Lake Elmo, MN, Valley Ridge Dental is your go-to place. Call (651) 439-0322 to book your appointment at our Lake Elmo office today!


When can I stop worrying about dry sockets?

Usually, you can stop being concerned about the dry socket after 7-10 days because that’s how long it usually takes for your gums to heal and close up. However, everyone heals at their own pace, depending on age, oral health, hygiene, and other factors. Trust your healthcare team, and if you notice any unusual symptoms, contact your clinic immediately.

What does a dry socket taste like?

A dry socket can make your mouth taste bad or sour. This taste can be one of the first signs of an infection, so it’s important to act quickly if you notice it.

What fixes a dry socket?

Your dentist or oral surgeon might fill the empty space where the tooth was removed with a special gel or paste and a dressing. These can help ease your pain promptly. Whether you require changes to the dressing and how often it’s done, or any other treatment, depends on how much pain you’re experiencing and your other symptoms.