Wisdom Teeth - Removal Complications

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What are the potential risks and complications of wisdom teeth extraction?

Although the postoperative recovery is usually uneventful, problems can occur. The most common adverse occurrence of a wisdom tooth extraction is a dry socket or alveolar osteitis. This condition is created when the blood clot in the surgical site accidentally dislodges, leaving exposed bone Once this occurs, the bone along the extraction socket can become inflamed and painful. If a dry socket occurs, the surgeon should be contacted. If it happens, a dry socket will typically develop between two and five days after the extraction and will produce a bad smell/taste in the mouth along with constant throbbing pain. This complication is easily treated and often resolves quickly with a packing medication or stimulation of a new blood clot. More serious complications are rare but can include injury to the adjacent inferior alveolar nerve for wisdom teeth on the bottom (mandible), sinus perforation for wisdom teeth on the top (maxilla), damage to adjacent teeth, prolonged numbness or altered sensation of the tongue, lip, or gum tissue (paresthesia), or problems with the temporomandibular joint as a result of trauma to the area. The potential risks of wisdom tooth extraction should be reviewed with a dentist. If a wisdom tooth is deemed compromised, removal of the tooth in adolescence is advantageous to extracting the tooth in late adulthood. The extraction procedure and healing both become more difficult as the person gets older. Discussion with a dentist about the condition of the wisdom teeth and timeline for the extractions is important and will help minimize complications.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Jim-in-Creedmoor, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 28

I was apprehensive about my wisdom teeth removal. At age 61 I developed a cavity which my normal dentist did not notice. When I changed dentists, I was told my #1 wisdom tooth was decayed and needed to be extracted. I delayed having it done, but it was painless, quick, relatively cheap at $227 and quite the non-issue. I now have my 28 non-wisdom and not a cavity or repair in any of them.

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Comment from: donsmemory, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I had a wisdom tooth removed on the 23rd of April. Today's date is the 4th of May and I'm still in pain. I have been prescribed co-codamol and it makes me sleep through the pain but until it kicks in my system I'm in pain with my jaw aching and awful earache. I just want it to stop, I wish I'd have left the tooth alone.

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