Wisdom Teeth Swelling – When Does It Occur & What To Do?

by | Jan 14, 2021 | General Dentistry

Dental patient

Wisdom teeth swelling following extraction is fairly common and is the body’s natural reaction to trauma. In this post, we’re going to discuss when troublesome wisdom teeth are considered a dental emergency, why wisdom teeth surgery is required, and how to reduce wisdom teeth swelling. So settle down and enjoy the read.


Firstly, what are wisdom teeth?

Also known as the third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come through, usually when a person is in their late teens or early twenties. By the time they ‘arrive’, the majority of people already have a full set of teeth and consequently, there isn’t sufficient room to accommodate them because other teeth are often in the way. 

While some wisdom teeth erupt without any problem others come through misaligned or get trapped in the gums because another tooth is already in that socket. When this occurs it’s known as impaction


When is wisdom tooth extraction a dental emergency

If your wisdom teeth are coming through normally and not causing any discomfort then they’re not regarded as a dental emergency. However, it may still be a good idea to undergo wisdom teeth surgery at some point to ensure your other teeth don’t move and become misaligned.

However, the same can’t be said if a wisdom tooth is impacted. Because it’s difficult to brush, food and bacteria can get trapped between it and the adjacent tooth. This can lead to swollen gums and an increased risk of gum or tooth infection. 

Given these circumstances, it’s best to treat the situation as a dental emergency and make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. In most cases, wisdom tooth removal is usually the best course of action.

occuring wisdom teeth swelling chatswood

What about wisdom teeth swelling following extraction?

Although not everyone will suffer from swelling after wisdom tooth surgery It can be commonplace. It is in fact, a natural response to trauma and is nothing to worry about. The more a dentist has to work on the soft tissues to remove an impacted wisdom tooth, the more trauma and (by default) swelling takes place. 

It’s not unusual for a patient to experience swelling around their mouth, cheeks and even their eyes and it can continue for several days. 


Tips to reduce wisdom teeth swelling after wisdom teeth surgery

  • Elevate your headIt’s important to rest after any surgery so consider lying down and using a couple of pillows to elevate your head. This can help to alleviate the swelling. 
  • Apply an ice pack – Swelling usually peaks within a couple of days. A cold compress placed on the outer cheek where the surgery occurred will help and swelling to reduce
  • Saltwater rinses –  Rinsing the mouth with salt water 2 or 3 times a day not only keeps any infection at bay but can help to ease any swelling 


It’s also recommended to eat soft nutritious food like smoothies, soup, and mashed potato which slide down easily when your face and mouth are swollen. Cold and tepid foods are also thought to help reduce any swelling. 

So there you have it. All you need to know about wisdom teeth swelling, causes and treatment. 

If you’re suffering from troublesome wisdom teeth then please get in touch with Boutique Dental Care by calling us at (02) 9054 5281. Dr Meng Quah-Shepherd uses the latest techniques and technology as well as her brand of nurturing dental care to ensure any wisdom teeth extractions are faster, safer, and more comfortable for patients.