Why is My Jaw so Stiff After Getting My Wisdom Teeth Pulled?

When your wisdom tooth is removed, the muscles surrounding your mouth, including your jaw, can result in trismus.

Stiff Jaw After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

There will come a time when you will have a wisdom tooth. It usually happens when you are 17 to 21 years old. These teeth are called wisdom as these are developed when you get older or as some would say, matured. Most of the time, these will appear naturally just like the rest of your teeth. But there can be instances when the tooth is developed in the wrong area and thus bring discomfort to you.

How to determine when it is time to remove your wisdom tooth

As mentioned, when the wisdom tooth is grown in the wrong position, you will feel uncomfortable. There is also a high tendency for you to have the following:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Tumor
  • Gum disease
  • Cysts
  • Damage to other teeth
  • Tooth decay

There can also be instances when your dentist will recommend that you remove the wisdom tooth if you are planning to wear braces or other treatments related to dental care. But before you can get those removed, the doctor will have to have an x-ray of your mouth to check the possible side effects.

Stiff jaw after wisdom tooth extraction

When your wisdom tooth is removed, the muscles surrounding your mouth, including your jaw, can result in trismus. It is a trauma which restricts your mouth from opening. The bad news is, you will have a hard time eating during this time. You will feel pain whenever you try to chew or even simply open your mouth.

On a brighter note, trismus can be cured on its own.  But if you no longer cannot bear the pain, you can do the following:

  • Do not use straw for about two to three days. This is to avoid adding pressure to the dislodged area.
  • No smoking.
  • Use cotton gauze and change it every 30 minutes. But if you feel that the gauze is already soaked in blood, then change it as well.
  • You can use painkillers. But be sure that you contact your doctor first to see which is recommended for your body.
  • Use cold packs to remove the stiffness of your jaw. It can also help in eliminating the swelling of your face.
  • You can do physiotherapy if you want to. This can exercise your jaw and remove the stiffness. One of these exercises includes adding Popsicle stick in your mouth. This can also help to remove trismus.

There can be instances when jaw stiffness occurs as a sign for you to remove your wisdom tooth. This is because when your wisdom teeth are about to come, they tend to push other teeth which can bring discomfort to your jaw. You will then have a hard time using your mouth and feel pain every time you try to eat. Once you already feel this symptom, do not hesitate to visit your dentist immediately.

Effects of wisdom tooth removal

Surprisingly, the removal of your wisdom tooth requires formal surgery. This also means that you need to watch out for the possible side effects that might happen after the surgery. Some of these include:


You need to expect that a huge amount of blood will come out after the surgery. What you can do about this is wiping and rising your mouth. Then, place a gauze pad on the area for about 30 minutes. If the bleeding continues, you can bite a tea bag for 30 minutes. This will help from a clot from your blood vessels. If nothing changes after 2 weeks, immediately head to your doctor.


Unfortunately, you will not be able to escape pain after the surgery. But there are ways you can do to relieve the pain, such as taking over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen. For better results, avoid drinking alcohol for a while. You can also avoid doing too much work.


Your face will swell the day after the surgery and will last up to three days. Do not worry, there is still a way to remove the swelling. All you need to do is apply ice packs in your face. However, take note that there can be times when the ice packs will not work. But that does not mean that you should be alarmed. Swelling after surgery is normal according to studies.


After swelling, expect that there will be discoloration in your skin as well. Your skin might turn into yellow, blue, green, and worse, black. This happens because of the blood spreading in your tissues. During this time, you can apply moist heat to remove the discoloration.


Although this is not as common as other effects, nausea can also be felt after surgery. In this case, it is recommended that you do not eat for an hour. Even taking medicines is prohibited for a while. An alternative would be tea, ginger ale, and coke. Once you no longer feel nauseous, you can then eat normally.

Other than jaw stiffness and the abovementioned symptoms, you can also feel numbness in other parts of your mouth such as tongue, lip, and chin. Getting a fever is also common after the surgery. To avoid having these, be sure that you follow the instructions of your doctor, avoid moving too much, and just take a rest.

Be careful when you stand up and lie down as you might get dizzy by doing this. You can also gargle using salt to keep your mouth clean at all times. This can also help in healing the previous location of your wisdom tooth. If you are not comfortable with a gargle, you can brush your teeth. Just be sure that you brush your teeth as gentle as possible.

All in all, jaw stiffness is connected to your wisdom tooth. It might be because you are about to have your wisdom tooth or you need to remove it. Either way, you still need to go to your doctor right away when you feel this symptom.

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