what makes you loopy after wisdom teeth removal


What Makes You Loopy After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Discover why you feel loopy after having your wisdom teeth removed and how to manage the effects. Find answers to common questions about post-surgery experiences.

wisdom teeth removal


Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that many individuals undergo to alleviate pain, prevent overcrowding, or address other dental issues. While the surgery itself is relatively routine, the recovery period can sometimes leave patients feeling a bit loopy or disoriented. This article aims to shed light on the reasons behind this post-operative state and provide insights into managing the associated effects. Understanding why you may feel loopy after wisdom teeth removal can help ease any concerns and facilitate a smoother recovery process.

Table of Contents:

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the oral cavity. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25, and for some individuals, they can cause various dental issues. These teeth often lack sufficient space to grow properly, leading to impacted wisdom teeth, misalignment, pain, and other complications. As a result, many dental professionals recommend their removal to prevent future problems.

The Process of Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure that involves the extraction of one or more wisdom teeth. The process begins with a consultation where your dentist or oral surgeon examines your mouth and takes X-rays to evaluate the positioning of your wisdom teeth. Based on their assessment, they will determine the best approach for removal.

what category does wisdom teeth fall under

During the surgery, you will typically receive anesthesia to ensure a pain-free experience. The type of anesthesia used can range from local anesthesia (numbing the specific area) to general anesthesia (rendering you unconscious during the procedure). The choice of anesthesia depends on factors such as the complexity of the extraction and your personal preference.

The extraction itself involves making an incision in the gum tissue if necessary, removing any bone obstructing the tooth, and extracting the wisdom tooth. Stitches may be used to close the incision, which will dissolve or require removal after a few days.

Effects of Anesthesia and Medications

One of the primary reasons you may feel loopy after wisdom teeth removal is the use of anesthesia during the surgery. General anesthesia, in particular, can leave you feeling disoriented or groggy as it takes time for the effects to wear off completely. The residual sedative properties of the anesthesia can contribute to the loopy sensation and may affect your coordination and cognitive abilities temporarily.

Furthermore, certain medications prescribed during the recovery period can have side effects that contribute to the loopy feeling. Pain medications, such as opioids, are commonly prescribed to manage post-operative discomfort. These medications can cause drowsiness, confusion, and a general feeling of being "out of it."

Managing Disorientation and Loopy Feelings

If you're experiencing loopy sensations after wisdom teeth removal, there are several steps you can take to manage and alleviate them:

  1. Rest and Relaxation: Allow yourself ample time to rest and recover. Taking it easy will help your body heal and reduce the grogginess associated with the surgery.
  2. Follow Medication Instructions: Take any prescribed pain medications as directed by your dentist or oral surgeon. Be aware of the potential side effects and discuss alternatives if the current medication is causing excessive disorientation.
  3. Avoid Alcohol and Certain Foods: Alcohol and certain foods can interact with medications and intensify their effects. It's best to avoid them until you've completed your recovery and are no longer taking pain medication.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, can help flush out any residual anesthesia and medications from your system.
  5. Gradually Resume Normal Activities: As you start feeling better, gradually reintroduce light activities into your routine. However, avoid strenuous exercise or activities that could increase the risk of complications.

Common Concerns and Side Effects

Aside from feeling loopy, there are other potential side effects and concerns you may experience after wisdom teeth removal:

Dry Socket: A dry socket occurs when the blood clot that typically forms after a tooth extraction becomes dislodged or dissolves prematurely, exposing the underlying bone and nerves. This condition can cause severe pain and delayed healing.

Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising in the surgical area are common after wisdom teeth removal. Applying ice packs and following your dentist's instructions can help minimize these effects.

Infection: Although rare, infections can occur after wisdom teeth removal. Signs of infection include severe pain, swelling, fever, and discharge. Contact your dentist if you suspect an infection.

Numbness or Tingling: Temporary numbness or tingling in the lips, tongue, or chin may occur due to nerve irritation during the surgery. This sensation should gradually improve over time.

What are Wisdom Teeth
What are Wisdom Teeth

Tips for a Smooth Recovery

Ensuring a smooth recovery after wisdom teeth removal involves following these helpful tips:

  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Gently brush your teeth, excluding the surgical area, to maintain oral hygiene. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater several times a day to keep the extraction site clean.
  2. Eat Soft Foods: Stick to a soft-food diet during the initial days after surgery. Opt for foods such as yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. Avoid hard, chewy, or spicy foods that can irritate the surgical site.
  3. Avoid Smoking and Using Straws: Smoking and using straws can dislodge the blood clot, delaying healing and increasing the risk of complications. It's best to avoid these activities until you've fully recovered.
  4. Attend Follow-up Appointments: Regular ly visit your dentist or oral surgeon for post-operative check-ups to ensure proper healing and address any concerns.
  5. Keep Your Head Elevated: Sleeping with your head slightly elevated on a pillow can help reduce swelling and discomfort.

Questions and Answers

Q: Will I be fully unconscious during wisdom teeth removal?

A: It depends on the type of anesthesia used. General anesthesia will render you unconscious, while local anesthesia will numb the specific area being treated.

Q: How long does the loopy feeling typically last after wisdom teeth removal?

A: The duration of the loopy feeling varies from person to person. It can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on factors such as the type of anesthesia used and the individual's metabolism.

Q: Can I drive myself home after the surgery?

A: If you receive general anesthesia or any sedative medications, it's essential to arrange for someone to drive you home. The effects of these medications can impair your coordination and judgment, making it unsafe to operate a vehicle.

Q: Are there any alternative pain management options if I want to avoid opioids?

A: Yes, there are alternative pain management options available. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can often provide effective pain relief. Consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to determine the best option for you.

Q: What should I do if I experience severe pain or complications after the surgery?

A: If you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, signs of infection, or any other concerning symptoms, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately. They will assess your situation and provide appropriate guidance and treatment.


Feeling loopy after wisdom teeth removal is a common occurrence due to the effects of anesthesia and prescribed medications. It's essential to understand that these sensations are temporary and part of the recovery process. By following the tips provided and adhering to your dentist's instructions, you can minimize discomfort and ensure a smoother recovery. If you have any concerns or experience severe symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to your dental professional. Remember, proper care and attention will help you heal and get back to normalcy in no time.