Tag Archives: Wisdom Teeth

What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Tooth Extraction: Waiting a Little Bit

1. Having pain is a normal part of the recovery process. Keep in mind that pain is part of the healing process and your body’s normal reaction to the surgery. Once a tooth has been fully removed it takes anywhere from 2 to 3 days to over a week for the initial pain to subside. Make sure to take your medications as prescribed and follow the instructions to heal as quickly as possible. The level of pain after the surgery typically correlates with the complexity of the procedure. The simpler extractions heal within 2 to 3 days whereas the more complicated ones as well as wisdom teeth usually require a week or so before you start seeing improvements.

2. Once the tooth is removed properly there is not much more that your dentist or oral surgeon can do for it. An ideal extraction is when your dentist removes the tooth within a few minutes. The surgeries that end up taking longer than fifteen minutes will typically require bone removal and lots of cutting so it will hurt more afterwards. If you lose a lot of bone the dentist or oral surgeon may choose to place some bone graft to assist with the healing process and to preserve the extraction socket better. The dentist may also use sutures to bring your gum tissue together to allow for a better healing process.

Oftentimes patients who have their four wisdom teeth removed all at once return within just a day or two to re-evaluate the area but can’t even open their mouths wide enough for the dentist to see back there since their jaws are still sore. Not much your dentist can do for you if he or she can’t see the surgery site. It is best to give it some time for the initial swelling to subside before going back to the dentist or oral surgeon so he or she can thoroughly evaluate you.

3. Wisdom removals and dry sockets can lead to pain which will last for several weeks. It is very important to avoid spitting for the first day after the tooth has been removed. Applying pressure by biting on gauze is a good way to get the bleeding under control. Keep in mind that the most crucial part of the healing occurs within the first 24 to 48 hours so you must be very careful to follow the instructions and allow for proper healing to occur in this critical period.

  • Smokers and those with a long list of medical problems generally heal slower than healthier patients
  • You will also heal slower as you age so expect the recovery to take a bit longer

If you spit and don’t follow the instructions then you’re not allowing the blood clot to form and you could end up with what’s known as a dry socket. It basically means poor healing and you will suffer for a few weeks. There is not much to be done for dry sockets, there is a solution that your dentist can apply which helps a little bit, but otherwise it needs to be managed with painkillers and takes a few weeks to resolve. No additional antibiotic is indicated as a dry socket is not an infection but is simply poor healing. And of course when it comes to removing wisdom teeth, especially when the teeth are embedded under your gums or jaw bone, then assume it will hurt for one week and anything less than that is a bonus!

NEXT >> How to Decide

What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Tooth Extraction: Going to the Dentist

What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Tooth Extraction: How to Decide

How to Decide?

Answer the following questions:

  1. Has it been more than 3 days and you are still in severe pain?
  2. If it was a complex wisdom tooth removal, has it been more than one week and you are still in severe pain?
  3. Have you been taking your antibiotics and pain killers but it’s not helping?
  4. Do you feel that there is still a piece of tooth or bone left behind?
  5. Are you having a hard time breathing?
  6. Are you still gushing blood and you can’t get the bleeding under control?

If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you should go back to your dentist or oral surgeon to have the area evaluated further. If you feel the pain levels are too excessive, contact your dentist to see if they can up your medications to a stronger one. If you feel you’re not reacting well to the medications, you should contact the dentist for a substitute. You may be able to handle this over the phone and not necessarily go back to the dentist office.

If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you should probably try to wait it out for a bit longer to see if the pain is subsiding.

Final Thought

Most pains after extractions go away with tim. How much pain you will be in has lots to do with how difficult your tooth extraction is. Easier extractions come with 2 to 3 days of pain but the more difficult ones take longer and closer to one week. Healing times of a few days to a week are normal as this is your body’s reaction to having a tooth removed. Get some rest, take your medications, follow the instructions and give your body some time to recover.

At the end of the day if you feel that you are more comfortable having your dentist or your oral surgeon re-evaluate the area then you should go ahead and contact them on phone of visit them to have your questions answered. Try to ask any questions prior to leaving the office. Most questions can be answered on the phone as well, but in certain occasions your dentist or oral surgeon will ask you to come back to the office for further evaluation.

NEXT >> What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Tooth Extraction: Going to the Dentist

What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Tooth Extraction: Waiting a Little Bit

Removing Wisdom Teeth: How to Decide

How to Decide?

Answer the following questions:

  1. Are you planning on being put to sleep?
  2. Can you take up to a week off if needed?
  3. Are you in your teens or twenties?
  4. You DON’T suffer from any serious breathing problems, very high blood pressure, or any other bleeding or heart related conditions?
  5. Do you have dental insurance and enough benefits to cover removal of all your wisdom teeth?
  6. Can you afford the copays for removing all four wisdom teeth? Whether cash or if need be through financing.

If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you are probably better off removing all the wisdom at once. If you are planning on being put to sleep then you should only consider removing them all as it makes no sense to go under anesthesia twice. But even if you are planning on using anti-anxiety pills or nitrous gas it is still worth considering removing them all and getting it over with.

If you  answered “no” to most of the above questions then you might want to pace yourself and consider removing the wisdom teeth one or two at a time.

If you have high blood pressure, a serious heart condition or some type of blood clotting issue you should avoid getting all of your wisdom teeth out in one setting.

Severe asthmatics or those who have serious breathing problems may feel their breathing becoming hindered when their entire jaw is numbed up and should consider removing the wisdom teeth over two or more sessions.

Patients with severe anxiety and certain nerve conditions may also be better off avoiding having their whole jaw numbed up. In these cases it is best to do the left side and the right side separately to allow you to function on the opposite side during recovery periods.

Final Thought

We prefer to have all our wisdom teeth removed at once since delaying the inevitable will only complicate matters. This will mean you only need one time off, one recovery period, one surgery and one round of medications. Has it been 6 hours since your last dose of Penicillin yet?

Typically only one of your four wisdom teeth should be hard to remove and will be responsible for most of the swelling and pain afterwards. But when you have two or more wisdom teeth which are going to be very difficult to remove then chances are you will swell up and be in lots of pain all over your face. If this is the case then you may not be able to eat or breathe properly for days or weeks after your surgery. Some even end up being admitted to the emergency room due to the pain, breathing problems or other complications. If your extractions are expected to be very complicated then it might not be a bad idea to work on one side at a time, left or right, to allow you to chew and function on the one side while the opposing side is recovering.

Helpful hint – If you have dental insurance then start planning your surgery well in advance to be able to set aside one year of your dental benefits exclusively for the wisdom teeth and get it over and done with. It is best that you pay for the cleaning if you have to and reserve all of your insurance benefits for the wisdom removal surgery.

NEXT >> Removing All Wisdom Teeth at Once

Removing Wisdom Teeth: Removing Wisdom Teeth One or Two at a Time