Possible Wisdom Teeth Complications

With how common the procedure of wisdom tooth extraction is, it usually goes without complication. But it is surgery so there can be problems that arise. The most common issues that occur are swelling, bleeding, and jaw numbness. There are actions you can take to minimize these problems and if you do start to experience these, you can contact the dentist to ensure they do not worsen. The following are the five most common complications.

1. Dry Socket

At the sites where the wisdom teeth are removed, your body forms blood clots to help the wounds stay moist and covered. Alveolar osteitis occurs when the blood clot comes loose and leaves the nerve exposed. Air and food particles can cause throbbing or sharp pain at the site. One study found that of the 1,200 people reviewed, only 41 people experienced a dry socket. If you are a smoker, you are more likely to get a dry socket. Be sure to contact the surgeon if you believe you have a dry socket as they can help recover the exposed nerve.

2. Pain and Swelling

These are the most common and easily the most likely complications anyone will experience after any tooth extraction. Depending on the type of impaction of your teeth, the dentist may suggest an over-the-counter pain medication or may write a prescription to help you manage the pain. The swelling can be managed with cold compresses. If you find that the pain does not improve or suddenly gets worse, contact the surgeon. This may be a sign of a serious infection.

3. Limited Mouth Opening

Temporary trismus or the trouble opening your mouth is common after a long procedure like the extraction of four teeth. If the stiffness continues, the dentist may suggest using heat, pain medication, or muscle relaxers.

4. Excessive Bleeding

You can plan on bleeding from the extraction sites for the first eight to twelve hours after the surgery. It takes time for the blood clot to form so the dentist may have suggestions to help minimize the bleeding until then.

5. Lip Numbness

This is one of the rarer reactions to wisdom tooth extraction, but it is possible. The inferior alveolar nerve is located at the back of your jaw near your wisdom teeth. The nerve can be irritated or damaged during the surgery leaving numbness in your lips or jaw. Most often, as the nerve irritation goes down, the numbness will go away. If the nerve damage is severe, then the lack of sensation can be permanent. This is not a problem associated with most wisdom tooth extraction.

When you are going through your treatment plan at your dental appointment, the oral surgeon will review the possible problems that could arise from have your wisdom teeth extracted. The surgeon will give you aftercare instructions to follow at home to keep your extraction sites healthy, free from infection, and on the path to healing quickly. Planning for your recovery before your procedure will help you feel better soon.

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