Usually appearing between 17 to 25 years of age and located at the back corners of your mouth. Wisdom teeth are the third molars and the last permanent teeth to erupt.
Some people´s wisdom teeth erupt without problems (just like any other molar), while others don´t develop wisdom teeth at all.
But sometimes, one or more of these teeth don´t have enough room to grow. This is what dentists call an impacted wisdom tooth.
This condition might cause infections, pain, and other dental illness. In these cases, dentists often recommend wisdom teeth removal.
There are cases in which the impacted tooth doesn´t erupt (or does it only partially). Here, your dentist might perform wisdom teeth removal to prevent it from causing further problems.
Wisdom teeth removal is a usual procedure. Regardless, in this article, we´ll be talking about some possible complications that can be derived from it.
Wisdom Teeth Removal- 5 Common Complications
Pain and Swelling:
It is normal to experience pain or swelling within the first three days after wisdom teeth removal. To treat it, your dentist will recommend prescription pain medicine.
However, you should call your dentist´s office to schedule an appointment if you´re still feeling moderate to severe pain after that period.
Limited Mouth Opening:
The restriction or discomfort experienced while opening your mouth is called trismus and is common after any lengthy dental health procedure.
When this trismus persists, your dentist might recommend pain medication, muscle relaxants, heat therapy. Also, if there is prolonged jaw stiffness, you might require a jaw-opening device.
It usually takes between 8 to 12 hours for a blood clot to form on the extraction site. Thus, it´s normal to experience mild bleeding during this time.
Some recommendations to minimise said bleeding include eating soft foods, rinsing with saltwater, and of course, avoiding smoking.
Although it´s rare, some patients experience lip numbness. This usually happens when the inferior alveolar nerve in the jaw is damaged during a wisdom teeth removal.
This damage can cause temporary lip or jaw numbness, which can be permanent in cases of severe nerve damage. However, this is the rarest complication resulting from wisdom teeth removal.
Dry Socket (Alveolar Osteitis):
This happens when the nerve under your gum is exposed to air or food debris due to dislodged blood clots. Dry socket can occur around 3-5 days after wisdom teeth removal.
It often presents itself in the form of throbbing or sharp pain in the area around the extraction site. Also, smoking patients are more likely to experience alveolar osteitis.
If you present any of these symptoms, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. So the exposed extraction site can be cleaned and covered.
The upside is that most wisdom teeth removal complications can be prevented. Just make sure to follow your dentist´s aftercare recommendations strictly.
Nonetheless, your dentist / oral surgeon will monitor the conditions of the extraction site post-surgery. This will reduce risks and ensure proper healing.
If you´re concerned about any complications or wisdom teeth removal side effects, immediately contact your dentist´s office. They will know what to do… Until next time!