How to get through the first night after tooth extraction

Going through a tooth extraction can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if it’s your first time. You may have a lot of questions and worries about what to expect, particularly on the first night after the procedure. It’s completely normal to feel anxious, but the good news is that there are things you can do to help yourself feel more comfortable and manage any pain or discomfort.

It’s important to follow the instructions given by your dentist or oral surgeon to minimize discomfort and promote healing. Here are some things to expect and tips to help you get through the first night after a tooth extraction:

Possible challenges and quick fixes


Some bleeding is normal after a tooth extraction, and it may continue for a few hours after the procedure. Your dentist will provide you with gauze pads to bite down on to help control the bleeding, usually for 30-45 minutes. Replace the gauze pads as instructed, and try to keep your head elevated to help slow down the bleeding.


You will likely experience some pain and discomfort after the extraction procedure, and for the next few days of your recovery. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Take the medication as directed and don’t exceed the recommended dosage.


Swelling in the area of the extraction is also common. Applying a cold compress to your cheek for 10-20 minutes at a time can help reduce swelling. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid direct contact with the skin.


It’s important to avoid eating or drinking anything for the first hour or two after the procedure to allow the blood clot to form properly. After that, stick to soft foods such as soup, mashed potatoes, or yogurt for the next few days, and gradually reintroduce solid foods.

Oral hygiene

Don’t brush or rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours after the procedure. After that, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to help keep the area clean and promote healing.


Nausea or an upset stomach can occur due to the effects of anesthesia or pain medication. Dehydration can make nausea worse. So make sure to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, and get plenty of rest. Lie down with your head elevated on a pillow to help relieve nausea, and take any prescribed medication as instructed.


Resting is important to help your body recover after the extraction. Avoid strenuous activities, and try to relax as much as possible. There are many other things to avoid after tooth extraction, such as hot or spicy foods, smoking, and alcohol, plus you shouldn’t use a straw.

Difficulty sleeping

Pain and discomfort can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, especially in the first night after tooth extraction. Sleep with your head elevated on a few pillows to reduce swelling and pain, and to help the blood clot form properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for gums to heal after tooth extraction?

Gums may hurt after tooth extraction for several days to a couple of weeks. The duration of the pain can vary from person to person depending on various factors such as the number of teeth extracted, the difficulty of the extraction, and the person’s overall health and healing ability.

Typically, the initial healing stage lasts for the first few days after extraction, during which the pain and discomfort are most intense. By the end of the first week, most people experience a significant reduction in pain and swelling. Though the gums may continue to feel sore and tender for a few more days to a week or two before fully healing.

There are several factors that can affect the healing of gums after tooth extraction, including, trauma, diet, smoking, and oral hygiene. Others include:

  • Medications: Certain medications can interfere with the healing process, such as blood thinners. It is important to inform the dentist of any medications being taken.
  • Age: Older patients may experience slower healing times compared to younger patients.
  • Medical conditionsCertain medical conditions such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders can affect the healing process.

How long does jaw pain last after tooth extraction?

Jaw pain is a common side effect after tooth extraction, and its duration can vary from person to person. It usually peaks around the third to fifth day after the extraction and then gradually subsides over the next few days. In most cases, jaw pain can last up to two weeks after tooth extraction. However, if the pain persists for more than two weeks or worsens, you should contact your dentist or oral surgeon for further evaluation.

How can i make my tooth extraction heal faster?

There are a few things you can do to promote faster healing after tooth extraction:

  • Follow your dentist’s post-operative instructions carefully, including taking any prescribed medications as directed.
  • Apply a cold compress to the affected area for the first 24-48 hours to help reduce swelling.
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products, as these can slow down the healing process.
  • Stick to soft foods and avoid crunchy, hard, or spicy foods that can irritate the extraction site.
  • Rest and avoid strenuous activity for the first few days after the procedure to allow your body to focus on healing.
  • Keep the extraction site clean by gently rinsing with warm salt water several times a day.
  • Avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue, fingers, or other objects to prevent infection or irritation.
  • Get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated to help your body heal more efficiently.

Keep in mind that healing time can vary depending on individual factors, such as age, overall health, and the complexity of the extraction. Be sure to follow up with your dentist as recommended to monitor your healing progress.

Why do surrounding teeth hurt after tooth extraction?

It is not uncommon to experience some pain or discomfort in the surrounding teeth after a tooth extraction. This can be caused by several factors, including the trauma of the extraction, inflammation in the surrounding tissues, and changes in the bite or alignment of the remaining teeth. 

It is important to keep the extraction site clean and to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-operative care to minimize the risk of complications and promote healing. If the pain or discomfort persists for more than a few days, or if you experience any other unusual symptoms, such as swelling or fever, you should contact your dentist for further evaluation.

Why am I experiencing pain where tooth was pulled months ago?

Experiencing pain at the site where a tooth was extracted months ago can be a concerning issue. One of the most common complications of tooth extraction is dry socket, which occurs when the blood clot in the extraction site is lost, exposing the underlying bone and nerves. Dry socket can cause severe pain and discomfort and may require further treatment from your dentist.

An infection in the extraction site can also lead to pain and swelling. In some cases, the infection may not develop immediately after the extraction but can manifest several months later. Another reason for the pain is trauma, since the extraction site may still be tender and sensitive, especially if you accidentally bite down on it or injure it while eating or brushing your teeth.

Also keep in mind that the nerves around the extraction site may get damaged during the procedure, leading to pain and discomfort in the following months.

If you are experiencing pain months after a tooth extraction, it is essential to schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Final thoughts

Remember, the first night after a tooth extraction can be uncomfortable, but it is a critical period for healing. By following these tips and taking good care of yourself, you can make the experience more bearable and support the healing process.

Also make sure to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully to ensure proper and fast healing, and prevent complications. If you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, or signs of infection such as fever, contact your dentist or oral surgeon right away.


  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

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