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Do You Have a Sore throat after Wisdom Tooth Surgery?

By Dr. Andrew C. Aiken

It’s time for the dreaded wisdom teeth to come out. It’s a little scary, but the surgery will be quick and relatively painless. Let’s talk about the recovery. It’s not always easy, but it’s completely doable.

A number of patients report a sore throat after their wisdom tooth extraction surgery, but it won’t be the end of the world.

This pain is caused by swollen muscles that are in close proximity to the extraction site. It’s usually caused by a slight infection, but isn’t serious unless the pain persists for weeks or more. It should only linger for about 3 days after the surgery.

But until the pain subsides there are things you can do! Your sore throat after your wisdom tooth surgery is completely normal and you can have it subside in no time with some simple remedies.

Salt water remedy

Gargling salt water is a remedy for most any mouth pain. It contains natural healing properties that soothes pain and reduces inflammation. It also tends to speed up the healing process and remove bacteria.

Dentists and doctors recommend rinsing the mouth with ½ teaspoon of salt mixed into a cup of warm water. Because salt water is all natural, this method can be applied as many times as needed.

However, when spitting out the water, be careful not to apply too much force. This can create dry sockets in the mouth and lead to further issues. Be gentle as you rinse and spit.

A cold compress or cold treats

A sore throat after oral surgery is typically due to swelling. In order to decrease swelling, a cold compress or ice pack can be applied to the throat…20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off until the swelling goes down is recommended. Popsicles, ice cream, or other cold treats can also ease the pain internally and add a little sweetness to the recovery process.

Hot tea and lots of liquids

Teas such as chamomile or peppermint can greatly soothe a sore throat. Being careful not to make the tea harmfully hot, this can be a quick and simple remedy. Water and other gentle, non-citrus fluids are helpful to keep the throat hydrated and flush out bacteria.

Lemon and honey

Both lemon and honey also have natural soothing properties that can ease a sore throat. While these are both very helpful to healing the side effects of a mouth surgery, overuse could cause problems on the surgery site. As always, it is important to monitor and use moderation when using these ingredients.

Eat soft foods

Try to eat at typical meal times, but choose soft foods that will go down easily and won’t get stuck in your throat or hurt the healing wound. Foods like yogurt, soup, and ice cream can benefit and even help soothe a sore throat.

While it is normal to have a sore throat for a few days after a tooth extraction, it could be cause for concern if the pain and soreness persists more than a week or if it hinders your ability to speak.

While long term issues are very rare, and sore throats after surgery can end up being completely unrelated anyway, this pain is not something that should be ignored just in case.

 At this point, you should contact your doctor or dentist. They’re always happy to help!

Your throat should be ready for talking and your mouth should be ready for eating again a few days after your tooth extraction. In the meantime, enjoy as much ice cream and popsicles as possible and rest that mouth! You will be back and ready to take your life back in no time!

NOTE: here are our post-operative instructions after wisdom tooth removal.