When Does Jaw Stiffness Go Away After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Does your jaw feel tight after wisdom teeth extraction? It’s a common aftermath and varies from person to person. You can expect the stiffness to hike in the first couple of days post-surgery. However, you can wait it out and it will subside in a few more days.

Worst Day of Pain After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The worst time of pain varies from person to person. It depends on a few factors like the complication of the removal, level of pain tolerance, and adherence to post-operative guidelines. However, the first 24 to 72 hours post-surgery are critical when it comes to pain and swelling.

When Can I Fully Open My Mouth After Wisdom Teeth Removal

You can experience difficulty in opening your mouth due to jaw stiffness. However, it should gradually subside. You can expect your jaw to be completely immobile during the first 24 hours of surgery.

But with the use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, your jaw’s mobility will increase after 24 hours. In 4-6 weeks, you should be able to fully open your mouth without feeling any tension in the jaw. Some jaw-relaxing exercises can also help.

How to Get Rid of Stiff Jaw After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Jaw stiffness is the most common aftermath of wisdom teeth removal. This is how you can deal with it:

  • Use an ice pack or cold compress on the surgical side for the first 24 hours after surgery. This can lower swelling and numb the area, making the stiffness subside.
  • Follow your oral surgeon’s post-operative guidelines. This can include taking prescribed medications, like pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs, to control pain.
  • Begin with gentle jaw exercises after the initial 24 hours, as recommended by your oral surgeon or dentist. These exercises can help improve mobility and reduce stiffness.
  • Open and close your mouth gently, and perform side-to-side exercises with caution. Refrain from forcing your jaw if it causes pain.
  • After the first 24 hours, you can turn to warm compresses to relieve the jaw muscles. This can reduce stiffness and promote blood circulation in the area.
  • Stick to proper oral hygiene practices, as advised by your dentist, to prevent infection and trigger healing.
  • Maintain a soft diet during the first days after surgery. Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that can put force on your jaw. Eat foods like yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies.
  • Drink sufficient water and fluids to remain hydrated, but without straws as the sucking motion can put tension on the surgical site.
  • Allow your body to rest and recover. Avoid intense physical activities that strain your jaw.
  • While sleeping or resting, try to keep your head elevated with an extra pillow. This can help decrease swelling.
  • Attend any follow-up appointments with your oral surgeon to ensure proper healing and address any concern that arises.

Concluding Thoughts

It is normal to have a stiff jaw after wisdom teeth removal. You should wait it out and follow your oral surgeon’s aftercare advice. It is also recommended to always seek an expert surgeon to minimize the risks of complications.

You can contact Dr. Kapadia at Vintage Smile Family Dentistry for expert dental procedures. Our general dentist has various expertise in cosmetic and restorative dentistry to cater to you and your family’s dental problems. Dial (281) 251-7770 to schedule a visit.


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