How Long Should You Wait to Exercise After Tooth Extraction?

If you regularly follow an exercise routine, you may be wondering how wisdom tooth extraction surgery might affect your daily life, and for how long.

This is a very common question. Maybe just as common as the surgery itself.

What Is Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars of the mouth, which come in (erupt) during the later part of adolescence or early adulthood, from ages 14 to 21. Oral surgeons and dentists often recommend having these removed since they may cause a multitude of problems.

It typically takes about three to four weeks to recover fully from this surgery.

What to Expect After a Wisdom Tooth Removal

Having your wisdom teeth extracted is an oral surgery, which should be treated as any other major surgery. The healing process can take a while, but the first 24 hours are the most important.

During the first twenty-four hours after a wisdom tooth extraction, you should pay close attention to the extraction site.

Here are a few well-known rules to follow after having your wisdom teeth removed:

  • Place gauze on the bleeding socket (extraction site) and make sure to bite down as you use it.
  • Don’t spit or use a straw.
  • Only eat soft or liquid foods
  • No strenuous exercise.
  • Take your prescribed medication or Ibuprofen

Following these rules for the first 24 hours after having your wisdom teeth removed is imperative to form a blood clot in the extraction site.

This clot will fill in the space that used to be occupied by the tooth.

If the blood clot doesn’t form or is dislodged, this will lead to dry socket, a condition in which the socket is left bare so that bone and nerve are exposed.

A dry socket is an incredibly painful oral health issue that will complicate your recovery.

As long as these blood clots form and remain intact for the first 24 hours, the rest of the healing process should be manageable.

Why Do I Have to Wait to Exercise After Having a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Physical activity will increase blood pressure, which can lead to increased bleeding where your wisdom teeth were removed.

If you engage in physical activity before the first 24 hours after surgery is over, an increase in blood pressure could stop the development of blood clots, harming your ability to heal properly and leading to a dry socket.

While exercise is important, it’s also important to know that you cannot rush healing.

Risks of Exercising Too Soon

Another risk of exercising too soon after wisdom teeth removal is of injury. Following a wisdom tooth extraction, you will likely be on pain medication, which comes with side effects and may affect your ability to exercise.

Strenuous exercise requires plenty of nutritional support, which simply won’t be an option for some time since you will be on a diet strictly limited to liquid and soft food to prevent food particles from sticking in vulnerable places.

It is highly recommended to wait before you start exercising.

How Long Should I Wait Before Exercising After Having My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

For the first few days after wisdom teeth removal, rest is important. Most of the healing your body does takes place during sleep. Plus, you may feel like doing little more than sleeping after oral surgery, anyway.

For the first few days, it is important to favor rest over other activities.

Your timeline for returning to exercise varies depending on how many wisdom teeth you’ve had removed at once. In general, the more intensive the surgery, the longer you should wait.

When and Why You Should Discuss This with Your Surgeon

You may be able to begin exercise anywhere from about the third day to a week after the procedure. However, consult with your oral surgeon first.

While there is a general timeline for returning to exercise, it’s very important to follow your surgeon’s instructions.

If any bleeding occurs or you feel woozy, stop immediately.

In general, if you can wait a few more days to resume exercise, you will have less risk.

How to Return to Exercise

It’s important to start exercising slowly after having your wisdom teeth extracted. Jumping into your normal routine of physical activity can put your recovery at risk.

When you no longer require narcotic pain medication you can engage in light physical activity, such as lifting light weights or light exercise like walking or other low-impact activities.

When you resume exercising, it’s important to refrain from any heavy lifting or high-intensity exercises. Take a few days at a time of light exercise before you resume normal activities, including sports.

Reintroduce exercise slowly and pay attention to how you feel as you do.

After you are fully healed, then you may begin to push yourself with endurance training and/or lifting heavier weights.

Contact us at Buck and Phillips Oral Surgery for a consultation and to schedule your wisdom teeth removal; we’ll be there every step of the way!