Should You Sleep at an Angle to Recover from Oral Surgery?
Posted on 12/21/2020 by Dr. Brendan Johnson
If you have just had your wisdom teeth removed, other teeth extracted, or any other type of oral surgery, there are many things you need to keep in mind while you recover. What foods you can and cannot eat, how to clean the surgical site, and how to manage your pain are all key during the first few days after undergoing oral surgery. But did you know that the way you sleep also has an impact on the healing process?
Elevate Your Head
For the first two to three nights following your procedure, you should sleep with your head elevated. You can do this by propping a few pillows up behind your back and head, or you can sleep in a recliner chair if you have one. Elevating your head allows fluids to drain away from the surgical site, reducing your swelling. If you sleep flat on your back with your head level to the bed, this can actually cause swelling, pain, and bleeding to increase.
Sleep On Your Side
Just like sleeping flat on your back can increase swelling, sleeping on the side that was operated on can also be problematic. Elevating your head is more important than whether you choose to sleep on your back or on your side. But if you are more comfortable sleeping on your side, try to sleep on the opposite side to where the surgery occurred so that fluids can continue to be drained away from the surgical site.
Other Tips for Successful Sleep After Oral Surgery
Rest is very important to the healing process. In order to sleep soundly through the night after having oral surgery, you should take any pain medication we prescribed to you as directed. You should also follow our instructions when it comes to applying ice to your mouth, using gauze, rinsing your mouth, and not smoking. If you have questions about your recovery, call our office for help.