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Can I Exercise After My Wisdom Teeth Were Pulled?

author image Ann Smith
Ann Smith has been writing informational articles for more than seven years. Beginning her career with bed-and-breakfast reviews, Smith now covers health and parenting issues for various online publications.
Can I Exercise After My Wisdom Teeth Were Pulled?
Wisdom tooth removal is a serious surgery. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Wisdom teeth removal is a different experience for everyone. Some people go through it without a hitch, while some find themselves back in the dental surgeon's chair for follow-up help. Knowing what a normal recovery is like and what could potentially go wrong will help you decide what, if any, exercises you want to resume soon after the surgery.

Wisdom Tooth Removal is Surgery

For most, the removal of wisdom teeth is a serious surgical procedure. You will likely be under general anesthesia or I.V. sedation. Expect to wake up feeling groggy after either. You're extraction sites will likely be stitched and covered with a gauze to control the bleeding. Someone will be required to be with you to drive you home. In most cases, you will be given painkillers and perhaps an antibiotic or antibiotic rinse and be sent home to rest. Immediately following the surgery, that is likely all you will want to do.

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According to WorlDental.org, the main complication of wisdom teeth extraction surgery is pain and bleeding. For the first few hours, you will be instructed to change your blood-filled gauze and bite down to apply pressure on the extraction sites. This helps control the bleeding. Pain medication will help with any pain you experience. Dry socket is also a risk. Described by many as a very excruciating pain that radiates through the face, it occurs when the blood clot that forms immediately after surgery is lost. This can expose the jaw bone and lead to infection. For this reason, you will be instructed not to rinse your mouth or use straws, as both increase the risk of losing the clot.


With the expectation of bleeding and pain on day one, it is safe to say you will not even want to exercise. By day two, you might think you are up to it. What you have to remember is that for those first few days, you will be on a diet of mostly soft foods. With your nourishment levels low, exercise could make you feel light-headed or weak. If you do try to exercise in the first week following the wisdom tooth extraction, keep it light. If you do feel weak or dizzy, stop exercising immediately. If you do not return to feeling normal, call your surgeon or doctor.


According to the Vermont Oral Surgery Associates, you can begin light exercises after about 24 hours. Routine exercises can begin at 72 hours or as you can tolerate them. Make sure you are following all post-operative instructions given to avoid the other risks associated with the surgery, especially if you intend to exercise. Keep in mind that the removal of your wisdom teeth was a serious surgery and should be treated as such. Follow the signals your body gives you, and do not try to push yourself too hard. If you're unsure of certain activities or exercises, check with your surgeon's office.

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