What are the possible complications following wisdom tooth removal?
There are a few potential wisdom tooth removal complicationsto be aware of. These include common and fairly short-lived ones such as dry socket. This is a painful problem that occurs if the wound does not heal properly after an extraction. Dry socket will be explained further in a moment. Then there are other more severe complications to be aware of. The risk of these will vary depending on your own wisdom tooth and how it lies in your jaw.
These complications include bleeding that goes on longer than it should. You are more likely to get this if you have a medical condition that interferes with blood clotting. Certain medications can causes similar effects. Bleeding will also be prolonged if you do not look after the wound properly. Follow any given aftercare advice from your dentist to allow the blood clot to stabilise and stop the bleeding. Bruising is another possible wisdom tooth removal complication that is common. So do not be concerned and expect some bruising after the procedure. Again, if the wound is not looked after, an infection can set in on the wound. Deeper infection of the bone is a rare complication, and one that usually only occurs if the patient has a medical condition affecting the bone or immune system. Damage to the nerve bundle that runs through the jaw bone is a complication that we will return to in a moment.
Because wisdom tooth removal involves a fair amount of force needed, there is risk of some damage to surrounding structures. So, nearby teeth may be damaged (although this is very unlikely). More likely is any fillings in adjacent teeth being broken off during extraction. The roots of the wisdom teeth themselves may break during the treatment. If this happens, the roots will be removed separately. But they may be left where they are if the are only small. Bone fracture from the force applied when taking out your tooth is another risk. Now this is extremely uncommon and typically only happens in the elderly, due to fragile bone tissue or a bone disease. Side-effects rather than complications after removal of wisdom teeth include pain, tenderness, inflammation (swelling), jaw tightness and bruising.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Complications Include Dry Socket
Let’s look further now at the most common wisdom tooth removal complication, the nasty problem of dry socket. Dry socket typically arises from the 2nd day subsequent to wisdom teeth removal. It is caused by a problem with the blood clot. This clot is important in terms of initiating healing, so if there is a problem with the clot, there will be a problem with healing. With a dry socket, the clot either does not form properly in the first instance, or is washed away before it sets in. So instead of being covered over and protected, the bone is exposed and raw. This is obviously painful, and the soreness from this might extend to your ear area. Affected individuals might find a bad flavor within your mouth and also foul breath. You are much more at risk of dry socket should you smoke within 24 hours of removal or if you don’t stick to that all-important aftercare advice the dentist gives you! Think you have dry socket? Then return to your dentist or oral surgeon for advice and treatment. They can wash out the wound and dress it to help with pain-relief and healing.
The next complication which we shall consider is that of nerve damage. There is a major nerve bundle which runs through our jaw and this can lie very close to the tips of the wisdom teeth. If it does lie close to the roots, then it can be damaged when the tooth is extracted. Thankfully permanent harm is rare. The problem is usually temporary in nature, whereby sensation of the lip, chin and half of the tongue is affected. Even though long-term problems are usually unusual, you need to be well-advised about the potential risks. These kinds of risks will likely be looked at when the judgement to take out wisdom teeth is reached. The precise risks you are at for your own surgery will depend on the local factors described above. For instance neural damage, based upon wherever a wisdom tooth lies against the neural canal.
Summing up, there are some complications to be aware of. Any surgery can involve potential problems and this procedure is no different. The difficulties consist of typical complications like dry socket, bruising as well as tenderness. More serious problems like nerve damage are thankfully rarer, but some patients are more at risk dependoing on their anatomy. Your own dentist or oral surgeon will explain your own potential wisdom tooth removal complications.