Pain after Tooth Extraction

Some amount of pain and discomfort is expected for few days after tooth extraction. Amount of pain which occurs after tooth extraction is dependent on procedure which is used for the extraction of the tooth and the degree of trauma to the adjacent tissues. Patient may experience pain for longer time after surgical tooth extraction as compared to simple tooth extraction. Pain which occurs after tooth extraction is not that severe which a patient can’t bear. Pain can be managed after tooth extraction with pain medicaments which are prescribed by the dentist or the oral surgeon. Pain will start regressing in few days after tooth extraction.

When to take first dose of pain pills after Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, the effect of anesthesia will be there for other few hours.  The first dose of the pain killer should be taken by the patient before the affect of numbness by the local anesthetic agent wears off.  Patient will experience sharp, intense pain after tooth extraction if the pain meds are not taken before the affect of anesthesia wears off. Pain killer taken by the patient will also take some time to become effective. To minimize the chances of nausea from the pain meds, patient should eat something to coat the stomach before taking the medicament.

Pain killer medicaments

They are to be taken by swallowing with water. Various pain meds available which can be taken by the patient with dentist consultation are:

In case of less mild pain situations, patient can take ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) 400-800mg 4 hourly or can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) 500-1000mg 4 hourly.  If a patient is experiencing moderate pain, then codeine 15-60mg or hydrocodone 5-10mg may be taken by the patient. In case of very severe pain, oxycodone 2.5-10mg should be given to the patient. Patient should read and follow the directions for the use of pain medicament. Patient should know about the manner in which the pain medicament needs to be taken.  If a patient has any problem or question with the medicament, then he should discuss this with his pharmacist or his dentist. If a narcotic, such as codeine is given by the oral surgeon or the dentist, then it should be taken with foods as narcotic pain meds have a tendency to cause gastric problems. If a person is taking narcotics, then he should limit his activities and take rest as narcotics cause drowsiness. Patient should eat something before taking the pain meds. This will cause coating of the stomach and will reduce the chances of nausea or vomiting. Prescription pain meds are mostly given for 3-4 days. In case of complicated tooth extractions, they may be prescribed for longer time.

Pain during first 24 Hours after Tooth Extraction

Patient should expect some amount of pain and discomfort after tooth extraction. Pain which occurs is not that severe which can’t be managed by the patient. Patient can easily bear pain after tooth extraction with mild pain killers. Pain is significantly more during the first 12 hours after tooth extraction and will start regressing after that.

Tooth extraction socket area will be sore and tender when touched during the first 24 hours and the empty socket will be felt as irregular with the tongue. There might be some  swelling  at this stage.  Bleeding which occurs after tooth extraction will also subside within few hours and will stop in first 24 hours. In case of surgical tooth extraction or in wisdom tooth extraction, bleeding may persist for longer. In case of difficult wisdom teeth, oozing of blood till 3 days after tooth extraction is considered as normal. 

Bleeding after Tooth Extraction

During the first 24 hours after tooth extraction, patient should take soft and liquid diet and should avoid taking food from the side where tooth was extracted. Patient should avoid sucking anything with straw and should not spit too much during the first 24 hours. Patient should take rest and should avoid smoking and alcohol. Intermittent ice application can be done to reduce the swelling at this stage.

Tooth Extraction Pain after 24 Hours

Pain will start regressing after 24 hours after tooth extraction in case of both simple tooth extractions as well as surgical tooth extraction. There might be mild pain present after 24 hours of tooth extraction. Pain will keep regressing with time. There might be oozing of blood even after 24 hours in case of wisdom tooth extraction or in Surgical Tooth Extraction. This is considered as normal. To control the bleeding, patient can put a piece of gauze or can bite on tea bags. Swelling will be more than previous day in case of surgical tooth extraction. Patient may have to continue taking soft and liquid diet at this stage if it was a difficult tooth extraction and patient should not smoke. Smoking can create negative pressure which can further dislodge the clot. Patient should keep the socket area clean to avoid secondary infections. It is advised to do warm saline rinses 24 hours after the tooth extraction to reduce the swelling.

Tooth Extraction Pain after 2 Days

Significant pain seldom persists after 2 days of tooth extraction. If the patient experiences severe throbbing pain which is radiating, then it can be because of dry socket. In case of dry socket, the blood clot is dislodged. To treat dry socket, dressing is given to the patient. Only the pain meds and antibiotics will not be effective to treat the condition. In case of surgical tooth extraction, swelling becomes more pronounced.

Swelling reaches its peaks after 2 days and after that, swelling starts decreasing. If hard, bright red and hot swelling is present, then it suggests infection.  Slight bleeding may occur on third day after wisdom tooth extraction or some complicated tooth extraction. Patient can continue with warm saline rinses at this stage and should avoid smoking which causes delay in the healing.

Tooth Extraction Pain after 3 days

If a patient experiences severe throbbing pain after 3 days, then he should visit his dental surgeon or dentist. Pain can be because of dry socket which further delays the recovery of the socket. There should be no bleeding after 3days of tooth extraction. Swelling will start reducing after 3 days. Patient can continue with warm saline rinses at this stage and has to keep extraction socket area clean to avoid any secondary infection.

Tooth Extraction Pain after 5 days

After the fourth day, pain should subside more and more after every day. There is usually no swelling present after 5 days. Patient can continue with the warm saline rinses and should maintain good oral hygiene to avoid any secondary infection.

Tooth Extraction pain after 7 days – 10 days

There is usually no pain present at this stage. In case of surgical tooth extraction, if non-resorbable sutures or stitches are given by the oral surgeon, then they need to be removed by the oral surgeon. Removal of stitches is an entirely painless procedure and there is no need of giving the local anesthesia and numbing the area before removing the sutures. The sutures are snipped using a pair of tiny tweezers. The tweezers will pull out the sutures with almost no pain and takes only few seconds. The patient just feels a small pinch while stitches removal but there is no pain.

If pain is present beyond 7-10 days after tooth extraction, then patient should consult his dentist or oral surgeon.

Along with pain, swelling and bleeding, it is quite normal to have a low grade temperature for 7-10 days after surgical tooth extraction. Low grade temperature occurs as an immune response. Pain killers will help to moderate the temperature. If there is high temperature present that is >101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 Celsius), then it is indicative of infection.  

Pain is not a complication after tooth extraction. Some amount of pain and discomfort after tooth extraction is expected. Pain will be more in case of surgical tooth extraction as compared to simple tooth extraction and to avoid pain, patient should follow the instructions of his dentist and should take the pain meds as prescribed. Patient should follow all the do’s and don’ts after tooth extraction and should follow tooth extraction after care instructions to avoid worsening of pain. Patient should avoid spitting, sucking, drinking anything with straw for minimum of 24 hours after tooth extraction and should not smoke for minimum of 2 days after tooth extraction. They can create negative pressure and can cause dislodgement of clot and lead to dry socket.   


 User Comments on -  Pain after Tooth Extraction

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Posted By : Julia on 08-Jun-2014 10:31 AM
Hi I had my upper molar extracted a week ago which was not a great experience however the tooth is not a problem but I am experiencing throbbing headaches about 4 inches up from my ear is this normal???

Posted By : ashley on 28-Jan-2014 12:24 PM
I had my upper left wisdom tooth removed a week ago. After the third day I told them about the pain I was having and they told me to come in and they checked for a dry socket It was not a dry socket. This dentist told me I bit the inside of my cheek while I was numb. So he prescribed me antibiotics and pain medicine. I think it is actual crap that he thinks my pain is ths bad because of the " Bite" which I checked and its just little bit of white chewed cheek I mean a little bit. Im going to go to the emergency room today and check to see if he dislocated my jaw or something . The amount of pain im feeling is ridiculous. I wake up and literally have to take a pain med, which knocks me back out. I have three kids. I don't have the time to sleep all the time and It hurts to even talk to my children. If I yawn oh my the pain is terrible. Please help me. What should I do?

Posted By : nilsh on 01-Sep-2013 11:34 PM
sir I have my left wisdom tooth got extracted in June19th ,2013 after they cut the bone. It heals completely but I feel heaviness on the left side and slight pai .there is no swelling or anything else should i still wait .doctors said its all fine.what could be the possible reasons for that

Posted By : Dr. Ritz on 05-Jul-2013 06:15 AM
After 6 days of extraction you should not have the swelling and you should not feel sharp edges . it is better you consult your dentist as there is a possibility that infection is setting in

Posted By : Dr. Ritz on 05-Jul-2013 06:14 AM
It can be because of healing process or it can be because of muscle spasm and for that you have to visit the dentist as without clinical examination and proper history it is difficult to comment. You can do hot fermentation for the sore muscles if the socket has healed properly and no infection is there

Posted By : Jennifer on 27-Jun-2013 12:01 AM
I had my #2 molar pulled 6 days ago and I still have a lot of swelling. I don't have pain in the socket but I feel pressure still if I bend over and now I feel something sharp in the socket right along the gum line. I'm not sure if this is normal or if I should call my dentist.

Posted By : Anne on 21-Jun-2013 07:41 PM
I had a lower wisdom tooth pulled a month ago; the socket and gum do not hurt; but the muscles at the point of the jaw ache and are sore to the touch. The soreness runs along the lower, outside of my jaw about halfway to my chin. I don't have a fever. Is it likely to infection or just the muscles/nerves/bone repairing? (I am 32)

Posted By : Dr. Rtiz on 03-Jun-2013 09:46 AM
Christina, It is long time since you got the wisdom tooth pulled out. The pain in the first molar can be due to decay or some gum problem. Normally it is due to deep decay where you have throbbing pain. So go to dentist and get xray done and find out the cause. If it is due to decay then you will need root canal treatment otherwise if it is due to gum problem then you have to get the gum treatment done.

Posted By : Christina on 02-Jun-2013 07:10 PM
I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed November 26th 2012, Ever since I had them removed I've had SEVERE pain on the right 1st molar. Its so bad it puts me in tears and I would love to just take a pare of pliers and pull it out myself. my last dentist appointment the dentist was on vacation so I didn't get to talk to him but I told the hygienist about the pain. the pain sometime starts at temporomandibular ligament and TMJ capsule, then down to my tooth and there it stays all day long. Aleve helps for about 2 hours then throbbing pain in my tooth again. I've suffered with it to long now I've been trying to get ahold of the doctor they will be in the office tomorrow. I'm thinking a root canal.

Posted By : Dr. Rtiz on 26-May-2013 09:37 AM

Amanda, It is normal to have pain even after 3 weeks as it take around 6 weeks to 3 months for the bone to heal. So do not worry and follow all after care instructions given by dentist and maintain good oral hygiene. Since it was molar and must have needed bone cutting, it takes more time for this to heal.


Posted By : Dr. Rtiz on 25-May-2013 10:24 PM

Tracy, Pain after 2 months of tooth extraction is not normal. Just find out that pain is not due to infection in adjacent teeth. If the adjacent teeth are normal and there is no visible infection then you must take a second opinion from a different dentist asap.


Posted By : Amanda on 24-May-2013 09:46 PM
3 weeks ago I had molar #30 (I believe) extracted as well as a gingivectomy done and a temporary bridge put in. I did a coarse of antibiotics and had the stitches removed after a week. My dentist said everything looked like it was healing well. I'm still having some pain, after this long is that normal or something I should be concerned about. I can usually control the pain with Tylenol but I do have a bit of trouble sleeping as the Tylenol wears off after about 3-4 hours and it's enough pain to wake me up. Needless to say, I'm very tired and cranky lately. Is pain this far out normal or something I should worry about?? It's not intense pain, more of an annoying aching type of pain.

Posted By : tracy on 22-May-2013 08:52 PM
I had a tooth extracted almost 2mos ago the pain is still unbearable the outside of my cheek is beat red and thumping ive been back to the dentist for xray he says its ok but its not I go thru some degree of this w each of my bad teeth but its unbearable- my dentist is stumped any ideas?

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 27-Mar-2013 09:42 PM

After tooth extraction, it takes around 3 weeks to 3 months for complete healing. Upto 3 weeks you can feel some pain in the socket as healing is not complete but if the pain is quite acute and severe with swelling then you should show it to your oral surgeon. Maintain good oral hygiene and do warm saline rinses 2-3 times day.


Posted By : Jon on 27-Mar-2013 04:53 PM
I had two wisdom teeth removed over two weeks ago. I still have moderate pain at times in my gums and teeth. It seems that there is no pain in the morning, but it gets worse as the day goes on. Is this unusual? Should I contact my oral surgeon?

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 25-Mar-2013 10:06 PM

It is normal to have moderate pain afte 4 days of stitches. It will take around 7-10 days for stitches to dissolve completely and for extraction socket to heal, though complete healing takes around 3 weeks to 6 weeks. Till then maintain good oral hygiene and do warm saline rinses. Donot irritate the area and follow all do’s and don’ts after tooth extraction.


Posted By : Char on 24-Mar-2013 08:36 PM
I ended up having to go back in 13 days after my tooth extraction due to still being in pain and found out I had bones sticking out. They removed the bones and stitched me back up and now, almost 4 days later and I'm still feeling moderate pain and waiting on the stitches to the pain and stitches still present normal?

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 13-Mar-2013 10:01 PM

To have pain after 2 days of extraction is normal. But you should follow all the instructions given by your dentist. You have to wait for at least a week . It takes a week to 10 days for the extraction socket to heal.


Posted By : Char on 10-Mar-2013 11:47 PM
I had root tips pulled out 2 days ago and still feel pain when I touch it with my tongue, is this normal? I smoke, but, I waited the 48 hours my dentist told me to and I put a gauzepad over the area when I smoke to protect it and I inhale very lightly. Just wondering how long it takes before I'll feel normal again and the threat of developing a dry socket is gone?

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 24-Feb-2013 09:33 PM

After surgical extraction it takes around 7 to 10 days for the pain to go. It depends upon how much bone cutting has to be done to extract the tooth. Maintain very good oral hygiene and do warm saline rinses so that the infection does not set in. The stitches will be resorbed in another day or two and if it is the other type which has to be cut then those will be removed after a week of surgery


Posted By : Azim on 17-Feb-2013 04:21 AM
I had my lower right wisdom tooth surgicaly extracted 5 days ago. I have finished all the medication the dentist gave me. The pain is still there, though its mild ( But continious). I also feel a pinch on my cheeks from the stiches. and a few strands of thread seem loose. Is it normal to have a mild pain after so long and please explain me the loose strands of threads ( Of the stiches)

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 04-Feb-2013 11:09 PM

It is not normal to have severe pain even after one week of tooth extraction when you are taking every precaution and antibiotics also. Sometimes in tooth extraction if bone cutting has to be done to remove the tooth then it takes longer for the bone to heal than the normal tooth extraction. If your dentist says that it is not a dry socket then may be some other tooth is bothering you. For that you have to go to dentist because if is difficult to comment without clinical examination. If you are not satisfied then you can take a second opinion.


Posted By : Chris on 04-Feb-2013 05:51 PM
I had a bottom molar removed on the right side a week ago today. I am in extremely bad pain. I did everything the dentist told me to do. I went back to the dentist today to see if I had a dry socket and he said that I did not have a dry socket. He washed out the area where I got my tooth removed and put some kind of ointment on it and put a gauze on it and told me to keep it on for an hour. He didn't take an x-ray or anything else. I am still in bad pain. I am taking amoxicilin and ibuprophen but as soon as the ibuphrophen wears off the pain is back. Sometimes the pain comes back before I am able to take another dose. The pain never does go completely away, it just stays a dull pain and then goes right back to extreme pain. What could be wrong and is this normal? What else should I do?

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 21-Jan-2013 10:31 PM

If after extraction you are still in pain then you can consult another doctor and get the proper examination done. Sometimes nerve pain is there but the symptoms of that pain are different. It has a trigger zone. For the diagnosis the clinical examination along with the X-ray and history is important. So you can consult some other dentist.


Posted By : Michele on 19-Jan-2013 12:03 AM
In November I had a tooth ache upper left. Nothing showed on X-Ray except Dr. said # 15 had a crack. When they went in there was a lot of decay. Did a partial root canal because the 3rd was calcified. Off to the specialist. He was able to get the 3rd canal. However, I continued to experience tooth pain. Month later back to the specialist to finish. This Dr. recommends to the tooth extracted. Have tooth extracted still in pain. Thankfully I can get relief from Motrin, but have been on Motrin since November. The problem is nothing is showing on X-Rays and Dr.'s were worried about taking this tooth out because it be pain from another tooth ... don't know what to do???

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