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Wisdom Teeth Complications

Having your wisdom teeth removed is an incredibly common procedure. Most people do not have enough room in their mouths to accommodate for those extra teeth in the back so they have to be removed. Leaving these third molars in place can quickly lead to other dental issues like overcrowding.

While having your wisdom teeth removed is a relatively simple procedure, up to 30% of patients can experience complications so it is important to know what to expect and how you can best be prepared for your surgery. Below are some common problems that may arise after wisdom tooth extractions and how to avoid them.

  • Pain and swelling is normal and to be expected and can usually be managed by the use of over-the-counter pain medications. Everyone experiences pain differently so make sure you do what is right for you and take the necessary medications. Studies have shown that up to 53% of patients experience only mild pain and that 47% reported severe pain. 15% of patients experienced severe pain a week after surgery.
  • Dry socket is a problem that can arise when the blood clot that fills the extraction site becomes dislodged, exposing bone. This particular problem tends to be more common among smoking patients as the sucking action is what will dislodge the blood clot. This is why it is also advised that you do not use drinking straws while you heal. Patients are usually advised to refrain from smoking for at least 7 to 10 days as they heal. During this time, it’s also important to avoid spitting when you rinse your mouth after cleaning. Making sure to keep the area clear of food particles will help heal your wounds faster. Only about 3% of patients develop dry socket and if you suspect that you have dry socket, it is important to get back to your oral surgeon as soon as possible so that the area can be properly cleaned and covered with medicated bandage.
  • A limited ability to open your mouth is more likely to be experienced by patients whose wisdom teeth were impacted. Your dentist may prescribe a muscle relaxers or other pain medications while you heal. You may also consider using a heating pad to relax and muscles in your jaw.
  • Lip numbness is another complication that could arise after wisdom tooth extractions. The inferior alveolar nerve is a nerve that runs through the jar and is very close to the site of wisdom tooth development. If the nerve becomes damaged during extraction, there is a chance of lip numbness. The chances are very small and patients who experience lip numbness usually recover within a couple of months.
  • Excessive bleeding is another complication that roughly 30% to 31% of patients experience during the first day after extraction. Your oral surgeon will give you post operative directions to follow and excessive bleeding can usually be avoided by following these directions. It is very important to avoid strenuous activity such as exercising and lifting heavy objects.

More on Wisdom Teeth Removal : How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Extraction Cost?

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