After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth

Our wisdom teeth often grow into an over-crowded mouth or in some instances they never grow in fully, but they cause pain or crowding issues with your teeth and gums without making an appearance. Wisdom teeth grow under their own rules and this often leads to them having to be removed to prevent further issues. 

Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out – What You Should Know

As you prepare to get your wisdom teeth removed, you should be aware that you will most likely be put under some form of anesthesia. This might be a nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) or general anesthesia that will put you to sleep during the extraction. 

After you have been prepped and the anesthesia is in place, your oral surgeon will begin the extraction. This typically is not a long process, depending on the variables of your mouth and the way your wisdom teeth have to be removed. When your teeth have been removed, sutures are placed into the gums to staunch blood flow and allow the area to heal. 

You are moved to a room or bed in which you can rest and wake from your anesthesia. We monitor your stats throughout surgery and as you wake. When you are awake and all is in order, we discharge you with full care instructions as well as painkillers and antibiotics. We will see you one week after extraction to ensure your mouth is properly healing. 

It is important to choose an oral surgeon that you trust and feel comfortable with. At Bellflower, we strive to make your experience a positive one. We have experienced, friendly staff dedicated to serving you! If you experience anything unusual after surgery or have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (562)-222-3607. 

Post Extraction – What to Expect

When the numbness of surgery wears off, you will most likely feel some pain from the wisdom tooth extraction. You may also experience minor bleeding. Use the gauze pads that are provided for bleeding. You can gently apply pressure by biting together. Cover your pillows so prevent blood from staining them. 

You can also expect to have swelling after surgery. The time you endure swelling and the amount of swelling you might experience can easily vary from person to person. In most cases, you can expect to see the swelling reduce by the 3rd day after surgery. Limit swelling by using ice packs as much as possible. The more you use the ice packs, the quicker the swelling will reduce. 

It is a good idea to eat soft foods and to take it east for a few days after surgery. These instructions are provided at discharge, but it is important to take note that your body needs time to rest and heal. Do not sip through a straw as it could cause more pain or pull on your sutures. 

Remember that every person heals differently. On average, most patients feel like they are mostly recovered after about 5 days of following postoperative instructions, including icing, pain medicines, rest, etc. 

Common Reasons for Needing Wisdom Teeth Extracted 

There are cases in which a person can keep their wisdom teeth, but most times it is recommended for them to be removed to avoid issues later in life. Here are some common reasons for removal. 

  1. Impacted Wisdom Teeth – there is just enough room in most mouths for wisdom teeth
  2. Angular Growth – wisdom teeth can grow at an angle, causing movement of your other teeth or pain in the back of the mouth. 
  3. Infection – The tooth area may cause food or debris to be trapped and eventually the area could become prone to infection
  4. Pain – it is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to be a source of pain throughout the mouth. 

Are There Any Complications One Should Watch For after Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

As with any medical procedure, there are potential complications that could make an appearance. These complications are just information to be aware of in the event that you feel you are not healing as you should be or that something just doesn’t seem right after extraction. 

Dry Sockets

Dry sockets are one of the most common complications that can occur after tooth extraction. Dry sockets occur when a blood clot prematurely dissolves in the empty tooth socket. Symptoms of dry socket are most likely to appear in the lower jaw on the 3rd -5th days post-operation. 

Dry sockets will cause a dull continuous aching feeling in the area affected. The pain could even begin by your ear and radiate towards your chin, depending on where the dry socket is located. The pain from a dry socket is typically not controlled through your pain medicine routine. 

Treatment for dry sockets could involve a prescription change, but it also may be beneficial to put a medicated dressing in the socket. This also protects the socket from food particles in your mouth making their way into the socket. 

The dry socket typically heals on its own, with no additional trips to the dentist office required. The most challenging part of working through dry socket is finding the best way to alleviate the pain. 

Infection

The tooth extraction site could become infected. Often, you are put on an antibiotic after the extraction procedure to avoid infection, however, an infection could still occur. Typically, you must visit the office and be examined to determine if there is an infection. 

Infections can usually be treated by a week of an antibiotic prescription, but if the infection were to persist the area may have to be drained and cleaned 

Sinus Communication

Because your upper wisdom teeth can be located quite close to your sinuses, at times the removal of the wisdom teeth leaves an opening between your mouth and your sinuses. This is more common if the teeth are removed at later stages, but is still an uncommon side effect. 

If there is a gap by your sinuses, it is typically noticed at the time of extraction. The gap will most likely spontaneously close on its own. We will provide you with specific post-operation instructions to assist you through the healing process. 

It may be required to have an additional procedure to close the sinus opening, but this is rare. 

Damage to Sensory Nerves

In patients between the ages of 12 and 18, it is quite rare for the nerve to be affected, but in older patients, the roots of the teeth being extracted tend to be longer, making it closer to a specific nerve in the lower jawbone. It is possible for this nerve to be injured during extraction. 

If this occurs, you may experience a numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin, or tongue after the local anesthesia has worn off. The issue is usually temporary and resolves on its own, but could take several weeks or months to do so. On rare occasions, this could cause permanent damage to the nerve. 

Things to Watch For

Watch for these symptoms after your tooth extraction so you know if you may need to follow up with us! 

  • Fever
  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Severe pain, uncontrolled by prescribed pain medicine
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Extended swelling or swelling that worsens after several days
  • A consistent bad taste in your mouth
  • Pus or oozing from the tooth socket
  • Numbness or loss of feeling
  • Nasal discharge that has blood or pus

Contact Our Office Today…

We want your healing process to be as smooth as possible, if you experience any prolonged symptoms or the items listed above, or if you just have questions, please give our office a call at (562) 222-3607.