How Long Does it Take to Recover From Oral Surgery?

oral surgery

Now that oral surgery is behind you, your number one priority should be to take good care of your mouth and ensure a quick recovery. 

Always make it a point to follow all post-operative instructions without any deviations. This prevents trauma or infection to the surgical site. Here is a short guide to help you understand how long it takes to recover from oral surgery and ways to quicken the process. 

Dental Surgery Recovery Time 

You need to keep your schedule free for at least two days after the dental surgery. It will take a minimum of 48 hours for the swelling and pain to subside. However, complete swelling will resolve in about a week or so.

You should wait for 2 to 3 days before resuming any physical activities. Typically, you will be able to return to all of your routine daily activities within 48 hours of the surgery. 

Oral Hygiene

You should avoid vigorous spitting or rinsing for the first 24 hours after the oral surgery. Consider brushing gently and flossing if you can open your jaws wide enough. If not, simply swirl some lukewarm water in your mouth and let the water fall out on its own. Do not use mouthwash of any type. 

Consider rinsing with a lukewarm saline or saltwater solution after 24 hours. This will help keep the surgical site naturally clean, aiding in the recovery process. Add a tablespoon of salt to warm water to prepare your saline solution at home. Never swallow the salt solution. Repeat as many times as you need during the day. 


Bleeding and swelling are normal responses to various types of surgeries in the first 24 hours. There are steps you can take to prevent this and aid your oral surgery recovery. 

For instance, you can prevent bleeding by biting down firmly on the gauze provided to you for the first one hour after the surgery. You may need to take a sip of warm water to moisten the bandage if it seems stuck to the tissue. 


Swelling can be reduced by keeping your head elevated with the help of pillows for the first few hours. This may even help prevent a throbbing headache. Consider using an ice pack to reduce swelling in the first 24 hours. 

Generally, it takes 7 to 10 days for swelling to be gone entirely. It is normal for some stiffness to be present in the facial muscles for up to 10 days after the surgery. There may also be slight bruising, especially if your oral surgery involved lower wisdom teeth. 

Pain and Medications

Pain is subjective and depends on the type and extent of oral surgery undertaken. Your dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe all necessary pain and infection management medications. Make sure you follow all instructions very carefully and refrain from taking any over-the-counter medications. 

If required, consult with your dentist or surgeon before you take over the counter medications. 

Make sure you complete the full dosage of antibiotics as intended to prevent the surgery site from getting infected. It is important that you have your oral surgery conducted by a dentist who makes you comfortable and confident. 

Visiting the dentists shouldn’t be painful – at Florida Dental Solutions we strive to make getting dental work done a pleasant experience. Call us at (954) 362-4102 to learn more about how we can help!

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