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How Sleep Impacts Oral Surgery Recovery

Oral surgery, no matter if it is surgery for periodontal disease, tooth extractions, or dental implant placement, can leave you feeling uncomfortable for a few days.

Getting plenty of rest and sleep is crucial for healing properly following surgery. However, the way in which you sleep can have a significant impact on just how well you can recover from your surgical procedure. Optimum Oral Surgery Group is here to help.


Following oral surgery, rest and plenty of sleep are crucial for proper healing. Resting gives your body the opportunity to repair itself properly. This is why you are recommended to limit activities following a surgical procedure. Moving around too much, bending, lifting, and doing anything strenuous that can raise your heart rate and blood pressure can all cause bleeding as well as exacerbate pain and swelling. These issues can interfere with healing, causing the process to take longer.

When healing is slowed, your risk for infection and other issues increases. With proper rest and enough sleep, your body is more effectively able to repair and heal itself so that you can get back to your normal life.


While sleep is an integral component of proper healing, how you sleep can impact your recovery. If you sleep flat, with your head and shoulders at or below heart level, this can lead to a buildup of pressure at your surgical wounds, which can lead to pain and swelling.

If you sleep on the same side as your surgical wounds, you can also be faced with problems. The pressure on your surgical wounds can add to your discomfort. All of these issues can affect how well you can heal as well as lengthen your recovery time and increase your risk of complications.


Following oral surgery, we recommend that you sleep with your head and shoulders propped up above your heart level. Add an extra pillow or two to your bed or to the place where you will be resting. If you have a recliner, this is also an excellent way to keep your head elevated.

Keeping your head elevated is important for a couple of different reasons. One reason is that this position helps to limit swelling and prevent further bleeding. Being elevated, blood flow is more sluggish in your head, giving your gums the time to heal while preventing further bleeding. You will also find it much easier to sleep.

Another reason for keeping your head elevated is so important is because this position counters gravity. If you sleep flat, pressure can build at the surgical wounds, which can lead to excessive pain. By keeping your head elevated, this helps to prevent pressure, reducing pain. It also aids in reducing swelling more quickly. By reducing pain and swelling, you can heal quickly and properly, and avoid serious consequences.

Following oral surgery, getting plenty of rest is essential for ensuring proper healing. However, the way in which you sleep matters. If you have any questions or concerns about healing following oral surgery, do not hesitate to call Optimum Oral Surgery Group today at (856)778-8686.

Meet Our Oral Surgeons

Dr. Chad Rebhun

Dr. Rebhun is a certified diplomat by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He practices the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery, including dentoalveolar and wisdom tooth surgery, sedation, general anesthesia, and oral reconstruction with dental implants.

Read More About Dr. Rebhun →