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Pain After Oral Surgery: What You Need to Know

You might need oral surgery to remove a tooth if it's become too badly decayed or impacted. Oral surgery can also address gum disease or overcrowding issues. Many patients opt for oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth. As you can see, oral surgery is a common procedure.

No matter why you need oral surgery, you'll need to follow best practices as you heal after the procedure. A little pain is normal, and the care team at Sunrise Dental, with two locations in Spokane and Spokane Valley, Washington, led by RJ Henneberg, DDS, Filip Orban, DDS, and Rachel Deininger, DDS, can advise you on the best way to address any pain you’re experiencing.

However, some types of pain after surgery can indicate that you might need further medical attention and follow-up. Here's what our team says about pain and healing after oral surgery.

During your recovery period

Immediately after your oral surgery procedure, you should expect a period of recovery when you may have some pain symptoms. Healing starts right away, so as each day passes you should feel less pain.

Here are some rules of thumb for your post-surgery recovery period timeline:


Immediately after your procedure, follow medical instructions for post-surgery pain, bleeding, and swelling, making sure to get enough rest.


In the next two to four days, any stitches will dissolve, and you'll start to resume gentle oral hygiene, including careful brushing.

Pain fades

After 7-10 days, any swelling should be gone, and facial muscle pain and stiffness should ease.

Follow-up appointment

In two weeks, we typically ask you to come in for a follow-up appointment to check on your progress and address any complications and rule out infection.


You might also need to follow some dietary restrictions, like sticking to soft foods for a few days to a week after your procedure.

Handling post-surgery pain

Throughout your recovery period, you're likely to deal with some amounts of pain. Immediately after your procedure, we typically give you specific instructions for icing the treatment area. We often recommend applying an ice pack on the treated side for 15 minutes, then taking a 15-minute break, and then re-applying the ice pack. You may find you continue to benefit from icing during the healing process.

We can also recommend pain-relieving medications to support you as you recover. We most commonly suggest acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or both in combination to manage your pain symptoms. Your oral surgeon may also prescribe other pain medications if necessary to control severe symptoms.

Taking pain medication regularly and consistently will help keep your post-surgery pain under control. Try to avoid missed doses which can sometimes lead to painful flare-ups.

For complete support at every step of the oral surgery and recovery process, contact Sunrise Dental today. You can book your appointment over the phone by speaking with a friendly team member or by using the online tool.

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