After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth

What will I feel like after wisdom teeth removal surgery?

On the first day after wisdom teeth removal surgery, you may experience some minor bleeding and pain. You should cover your pillowcase with something so that you don’t get any blood on it. Each individual’s reaction to surgery varies, and the sensation of pain can range from mild discomfort to moderate pain. A variable amount of swelling can be expected following the surgery. This swelling usually peaks on the second day and should begin resolving on the third day. You can limit the amount of swelling you will have by using the Cool Comfort Wrap provided to you. You can apply moist heat to your face on the third day allowing your muscles to relax more and open wider.

Most of the time you will want to limit your activities for a few days. We ask that you follow your post-operative instructions closely. Doing so will make you as comfortable as possible during the first few days following your procedure. Please allow time for your body to begin healing before resuming an active social, academic, or athletic schedule. Most patients feel like they are over the hump and on their way to recovery in 3 to 5 days.

Are there any problems after the extraction of wisdom teeth?

As with any surgical procedure, there can be complications. Some complications patients may experience include:

After the procedure, our assistants will review your post-operative instructions with your escort. We ask that you follow these instructions closely, as they will make you most comfortable following your procedure. If you were sedated, you will be comfortable and drowsy when you leave the office. Most patients prefer to go home and rest with no other physical or scholastic activities planned for a few days.

With any medical procedure, there can be unexpected results. These can include delayed healing, infection and post-operative numbness or tingling in your lip, chin, or tongue. Dr. Lee will review relevant post-operative events with you and answer any questions during your office visit.

A representation of numbness caused by damage to a sensory nerve

Damage to Sensory Nerve – The Mandibular Nerve:

A primary concern of Dr. Lee is the nerve within the lower jaw bone called the Mandibular Nerve or Interior Alveolar Nerve. It supplies feeling to the lower lip, chin, and tongue. This nerve is frequently very close to the roots of the lower wisdom teeth. Having these teeth out between the ages of 12 and 18 usually provides shorter roots so that the nerve is not so close to the roots of these teeth. Occasionally, when the teeth are removed, and especially in older patients, the nerve can become injured. When local anesthesia wears off, you may experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin, or tongue. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve gradually over a period of weeks or months. On rare occasions, it can result in a permanent alteration of sensation similar to having local anesthesia. We feel that you should be aware of this possibility before consenting to surgery.

A diagram showing the opening that can occur bewteen your mouth and sinuses

Sinus Communication:

The upper wisdom teeth are situated close to your sinuses, and their removal can result in an opening between your mouth and the sinus. Once again, if the teeth are removed at an early age, the root formation is minimal, and this complication is very unlikely. However, if it does occur, it will usually close spontaneously. We will give you special instructions to follow, such as avoiding blowing your nose for two or three days following the surgery. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. Pressure should not be created in the sinus area, which may dislodge the healing blood clot. If you sense this condition occurring after the surgery, please contact the office. An additional procedure may RARELY be necessary to close the opening.

A visual of dry socket that developed after the removal of wisdom teeth

Dry Sockets:

Dry sockets are a painful complication that can sometimes occur following extraction of a tooth. Dry socket refers to a surgical that does not heal properly with increasing pain in the region that radiates to the surrounding muscles and teeth.  It is best described as an irritated bone in the surgery site.  Fortunately, dry sockets can usually be avoided by carefully following home-care instructions.

A diagram depicting an infection that occurs after wisdom teeth removal

Infection:

Occasionally, post-operative infections occur. Many times, just placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection. If it persists, the area may need to be cleaned more thoroughly. Our irrigation solutions to remove trapped bacteria. While this sounds painful and complicated, it really is very simple and is easily done in a matter of minutes with a few drops of local anesthetic.  Other unusual problems you may experience in the post-operative period include stiffness of the jaws, facial bruising, and swelling. All of the problems are lessened by the Cool Comfort Wrap provided by Dr. Lee post-operatively and no charge to you. The post-operative instruction sheet we will provide should answer many of the questions related to these more common concerns. If not, don’t hesitate to call the office at Cincinnati Center for Corrective Jaw Surgery Phone Number 513-232-8989.