3 Potential Complications With Having Wisdom Teeth Removed

With an invasive surgery such as wisdom tooth extraction, there is a chance of having a potential complication. As many as 30% of patients that have their wisdom teeth removed see some sort of complication, which include all major and minor issues. Before you head in for dental surgery, be aware of what can potentially go wrong so you can seek the proper care as soon as possible.

1. Dry Socket

If the extraction area is painful and foul smelling, there is a high chance that you have dry socket. It gets the name from the wound-like appearance, as the bare bone can be visible inside the socket. It can happen when a blood clot does not form in the empty tooth socket, or the clot that does form becomes dislodged from the area.

The very first blood clot you form is crucial in the socket's heeling process, and can cause significant delays in your recovery. People that smoke are more at risk of developing dry socket, or those that simply do not follow proper aftercare instructions from their surgeon.

Fixing dry socket involves having a medicated gauze inserted into the empty socket, and replacing it every 24 hours. You may also be prescribed a pain reliever to help with any additional discomfort.

2. Paresthesia

If your tooth is positioned in such a way that is close to a nerve, it could cause paresthesia. This happens when that nearby nerve is bruised during extraction, and can cause your tongue or lips to become numb. The two main ways that paresthesia occurs is when the tooth physically touches the nerve during the surgery, or the extraction tools touch the nerve.

Older patients are more at risk of paresthesia, as the nerves are more developed than younger patients. It is a reason why it is recommended to have wisdom teeth removed as early as possible when those nerves near the wisdom tooth are smaller.

Paresthesia will only last a few days if it does happen, but there could be potential damage that causes it to last much longer as well.

3. Infection

No matter how good your surgeon is, there is always a chance of an infection forming in the wisdom tooth socket. The most reliable sign of an infection is a fever, as your body raises its internal temperature to help fight off the infection.

Many patients also experience tenderness in the extraction site, or a white/yellow discharge. If you do have an infection, you will need to be prescribed antibiotics to help fight it off.

By being aware of these three wisdom tooth extraction complications, you can be prepared for if they happen to you.