Wisdom teeth are often experienced by half of the adult population and some people who have them have complained about discomfort, pain, and even gum bleeding. While it is advised that a patient asks for an individual assessment of his/her case, wisdom teeth are oftentimes advised to be removed by the oral surgeon or dentists.
Risks that a patient may experience during the actual surgery:
- Dry socket (alveolar osteitis)
- Paresthesia or temporary or permanent nerve damage
- Restricted mouth opening
- Temporary swelling
In most cases, the patient does not experience serious problems during a wisdom tooth extraction surgery as the anesthesia that is provided is already sufficient to prevent the risks mentioned above.
What is Dry socket?
Also called osteitis, dry socket is one of the most common risks that a patient may have from having an extraction surgery. The following are the factors that trigger this complication:
- The patient is a smoker
- The patient did not follow the instructions provided to her/him
- The extraction process was complicated because of the angle of the tooth
- The patient has already had a condition prior to the current surgery
- The patient is over 25 years old
When a patient experiences dry socket, he may feel dull and aching sensation in the jaw or gum. There are also cases where the patient may experience intense pain that could spread on the whole side of the face. This symptom can also be accompanied by a bad taste and a bad smell coming from the wisdom tooth.
It happens when the blood clot is not able to develop in the tooth socket until it disintegrates and disappears. After the extraction, the patient may feel pain if he has dry socket, but this pain grows after a few days of the extraction.
The doctor may cover the socket that will be removed once the socket is completely healed.
There have been studies and claim that using mouthwash can minimize the chances of experiencing and having dry socket. But make sure that it contains antiseptic ingredient chlorhexidine.
What is Paresthesia?
While dry socket is commonly experienced by patients who have undergone wisdom teeth extraction, paresthesia is experienced by a small number of patients. It is a complication that is generally characterized by numbness due to nerve damage caused by the surgery.
When the patient has paresthesia, the tooth root is bruised and can result in temporary loss of sensitivity and feeling of the lower lip, tongue, and/or lower jaw. This means that the patient will no longer feel any sensation and temperature on the mentioned parts of the mouth. However, it does not affect the tongue movement or causes any facial deformity.
This can last for a few days or weeks, although there are reported cases where it lasts for a few months. In addition to this, the complication might be severe that it results in complete and permanent nerve damage, leaving the patient completely unable to feel sensation in the mentioned parts of the mouth. This is often experienced by adults aging 35 and above as the tooth has grown fully and is close to the root nerve.