Hiccups from having Oral Surgery & Wisdom Teeth Removed

Posted By: Paul on May 05, 2011 in Causes

If you have read my previous posts you know that I suffered from an extended case of persistent hiccups as a result of having my Wisdom Teeth removed.

The ironic thing is that during my whole ordeal both my fiancée and I contacted the Oral Surgeon a total of four times to let them know what was going on. It wasn’t that we were looking to blame anyone for what was happening. We just needed suggestions on how to resolve the problem.

The general response I got from the Oral Surgeon’s office was “This is not our fault, and has nothing to do with your Wisdom Tooth Removal.” The ironic thing is if you have looked online (which you have since you are on my site.) you would realize this is just not true.

There are multiple posts and threads out on the net with people relating their story of getting the hiccups from having their Wisdom Teeth removed.

Now I understand that in the litigious world we live in people are not likely to own up to something. But I feel that as a medical professional it is your sworn duty to help someone with any medical knowledge you may have about their condition.

Placing blame is not the issue. The issue is helping a person get their life back to normal. I refuse to believe the Oral Surgeon had never received a call about this before. The fact is that they kept repeating “This is unrelated to your oral surgery. We are not responsible.” Instead they should have been offering suggestions about how to deal with the issue.

Now “Persistent Hiccups” may be unusual as a result of Oral Surgery. Many of the posts I have read online are people sharing stories about short bouts of hiccups after their surgery.

The bottom line is that people do in fact get the hiccups from a having Oral Surgery performed. So why is this?

Instances of Hiccups After Having Wisdom Teeth Removed & Oral Surgery

In a post on the Mac Rumors forum someone was discussing their concerns about getting their Wisdom Teeth removed. Someone followed up with the comment:

  • … However I apparently am in the 5% of people who get hiccups from the pain medicine I was prescribed. It was fun to watch my coworkers go insane for two days as I kept hiccuping…

Were my hiccups caused by Pain Medication? They still persisted for four days after the medication was gone.

In another post on the Dental Problems message board a user writes:

  • … I just had my wisdom teeth removed Friday afternoon, and ever since that night, I have had constant hiccups. I do mean constant. It happens every 5 seconds whenever I am up and walking around…literally. The only time it isn’t happening is for about 10 minutes after I wake up from a short, vicodin-induced nap. I usually hiccup myself to sleep. This is so annoying. Has it happened to anyone else? I’ve done internet searches and can’t find hiccups as a side effect from the surgery. Help!!…

This experience seems to run contrary to the assumption above that the hiccups are related to the pain medication since this person states the only time their hiccups go away is when they take their pain medication and go to sleep.

Now in all fairness I have read other experiences stating that when a person falls asleep (whether its natural sleep or drug induced sleep) that their hiccups go away until they wake up.

This bit of information makes the condition seem neurological in a way as the symptoms subside when the brain is basically “turned off”. Yet they come back as soon as a person is conscious again.

Side Notes on Hiccups Related to Oral Surgery & Wisdom Tooth Removal

Another point to note is that my hiccups started immediately upon coming out of Surgery. At this point I had not yet taken pain medication except for what was administered through the IV.

I have also spoken with several doctors who attend and assist with surgeries at the hospital when they are not working at the clinic. When I asked these doctors about the possibility of hiccups as a result of general anesthesia they all mentioned they have never seen a patient come out of a hospital surgery with the hiccups.

This might be a similar case like with the Oral Surgeon where this does happen and maybe these doctors were just not aware of it.

In any case, if you are on this site you know that Hiccups DO occur as a result of Oral Surgery. There’s no point in convincing ourselves of something we have experienced firsthand. What we need to do is find out why they occur and how to stop them once this has happened.

I will try to share more information as I find it, and any theories I come up with through online research.

Discussion - 72 Comments

  • Ron Aug 19, 2011 

    Belay some of those earlier comments. I think the leaning back was coincidence. Taking some baking soda with water does tend to help but what really helps is the pain meds. Based on what others said here I took one and within an hour was able to eat hiccup-free. Now I just need to see how long I’ll have to do this to wait it out.

  • nc Sep 04, 2011 

    never thought incessant hiccups would be the worst part of having my wisdom teeth out. This is horrible

  • hicmom Sep 20, 2011 

    My son had all 4 wisdom teeth removed yesterday; today the hiccups started. So glad to find this site and to read what others have tried. Wish surgeons would have mentioned hiccups as a possible side effect.

  • Pyro Pete Sep 22, 2011 


    Ty is the man!

    Drink cold water while bending over forwards so it flows down the roof of your mouth when you swallow. (Be forewarned that it ends up dripping out your nose, but when I did it my hiccups stopped instantly and haven’t come back since.)

    It works!!!

  • Sudeep Oct 22, 2011 

    I had 4 wisdom tooth removed; general sedation. Taking Amoxicillin, Dexamethasone and Oxycodone. Hiccups started a day after. They come back every 1 hr. Drank a 2-3 bottles of water nonstop this seemed to stop the hiccups the first 4-5 times. Couldnt stop the 6th time but followed the forward bending and drinking as suggested by TY and it actually worked. I hope that I will be able to control the subsequent relapses.

  • Sudeep Oct 22, 2011 

    Didnt work for the 7th time. his worked: http://www.cognitial.com/hiccups.shtml. Maybe I have to try different things every time.

  • Andrea Nov 05, 2011 

    My daughter (15) had some impacted eye teeth removed yesterday and has been suffering from hiccups ever since. They come about every 4-6 hours and last for about a half hour. So glad to see this was so-called normal and that other people were suffering this odd condition as well.

  • AHS Nov 30, 2011 

    Husband had 4 wisdom teeth removed yesterday. Started with hiccups last night and has had them persistently all day. Hadn’t even considered it could somehow be related to his oral surgery. Asked about it during follow-up call from dentist and he to take OTC Benedryl. Headed out to pick some up…let’s hope it works!

  • ARJ Dec 17, 2011 

    I just underwent oral surgery yesterday and had two wisdom teeth removed. I’ve started with the hiccups a few hours afterwards and, one day later, they won’t go away for more than a few minutes at a time. My chest is actually hurting as a result. Right now; I’m having more discomfort from the hiccups than from the surgery! Unbelievable!
    I’m glad I’m not alone. There’s obviously a link here….must somehow be related to the medication prescribed (Oxycodone 325mg and Ibuprofen 600mg).

  • Paul Dec 17, 2011 

    Hey ARJ, the chest pain was definitely the worst aspect for me. I ended up going to the emergency room at one point (which I don’t recommend because it’s damn expensive.) where I was give a G.l. Cocktail (Gastro Cocktail) which contains “Milk of Magnesia”. It’s a gross, chalky, shake but it numbs your insides and offered almost immediate relief for my chest pains. This might be something you can get at a normal doctor, or walk-in clinic if the chest pain becomes unbearable. Unfortunately it is not something you can get over the counter. Hang in there!

  • Devin Dec 29, 2011 

    Just had my wisdom teeth taken out yesterday, and I have had the hiccups since…. They have been the worst part! :/

  • Lue Dec 31, 2011 

    Please help!! It has been going on for 2 days now. My chest hurts.

  • Laura Feb 11, 2012 

    Had my wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday afternoon. Yesterday night I started with hiccups after washing the dishes. They were non stop for 10u min until I held my breath for 10seconds. I went to lay down I then got back up to go to the bathroom. The hiccups immediately started again. I had this happen two more times when I got up. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then I spoke to my husband…..what if it was bcuz of my recent surgical extraction. I haven’t experienced hiccups like this in many many years. I can’t even when was the last time I had any. So I had to look it up on the internet and found this. I haven’t taken my pain meds since Tuesday bcuz I noticed it would make me feel out of breath, shaky and dizzy

  • John Feb 23, 2012 

    This is a somewhat common reaction to narcotics. Paul, you mentioned your hiccups started before you began taking your prescription, but in all likelihood you were administered narcotics at some point during the course of your procedure. Also, the reason your hiccups persisted for 4 days after you ceased the prescription is because even though you stop taking the drug, it doesn’t immediately leave your system. It will remain present in your body for 3-5 days. I recently suffered these exact same symptoms from a cough syrup I was prescribed and believe me, I feel your pain. It’s horrible.

  • Tina Mar 14, 2012 

    This is an interesting finding. That must be painful having constant hiccups.
    My case is that after I had my tonsils out I have had sporadic hiccups for two years.
    Had a nursing friend tell me they believe it is acid reflux.. Hope you all find quick relief for your constant hiccups.

  • Matt Jul 29, 2012 

    I had my wisdom teeth pulled in the Army just prior to deploying and had hiccups for 6 weeks. I normaly tough things like this out but after several days of no sleep, interrupted communication, acid reflux, pain and general annoyance I had to go on sickcall. They gave me Nexium and a muscle relaxer, and an anti-depressant. I imagine if I was paying for these meds out of pocket I’d be upset so I understand your dentist’s “not it” reaction. It was quite serious and was driving me crazy. You lose sleep to the point of being non-functional. Don’t think the meds helped, the hiccups just kinda went away on their own.

  • Tab Aug 15, 2012 

    What an interesting website.
    I’m an anaesthetist. I recently anaesthetised a man (for extraction of wisdom teeth) who later contacted the surgeon complaining of persistent hiccups. The surgeon asked me if it was a known side-effect of general anaesthesia. We’re both quite experienced and neither of us had ever heard of this problem before (either related to surgery or anaesthesia). Our patients go home within a few hours of surgery, so it’s possible that others have developed hiccups and never thought to tell us about it. Did any of you have the procedure done purely under local anaesthetic?

  • Kevin Sep 12, 2012 

    You were having a reaction to the Amoxicilan. I was just on it for a respiratory infection and removed myself from it after I had hiccups for about 36 hours straight. I gave it 10 hours to flush the antibioitics from my system and now they are gone. My respiratory infection remains, but the hiccups caused by the cure are worse so I’d rather just suffer through it.

  • jw Sep 26, 2012 

    Had my lower wisdom teeth out yesterday and today, hiccups all day. I hear it may be from anesthesia.

  • jw Sep 27, 2012 

    I still have the Hiccups….

  • Cait Oct 17, 2012 

    I had mine taken out yesterday and they have been going on for 20 hours straight. The Doc told me it was because of the amount of pain meds they had to give me because I used to be an addict so my body was having a reaction. It’s driving me crazy.

  • Jose Nov 11, 2012 

    I had my wisdom teeth pulled yesterday. I keep getting episodes of hiccups lasting for long periods of time, until I continuously drink water or hold breath. I had local anesthesia, but a lot of it, because my mouth didn’t take to it. Does anyone how long it usually lasts?

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