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Most of the time, the process of getting your wisdom teeth extracted and the subsequent recovery goes exactly as it’s meant to. Normally, there aren’t really any complications you’ll deal with. That said, there aren’t any guarantees. There are some complications that are worth having at least a basic understanding of.

Excessive Bleeding

Some amount of bleeding is perfectly normal after a wisdom tooth extraction. It can take 8-12 hours for a clot to form over the extraction site and the bleeding to stop. If you bleed for longer than that, or if a clot isn’t forming, you may need to return to Dr. Updike for follow-up treatment. In the meantime, place fresh gauze over the area and bite down hard for 30 minutes to apply pressure and help control the bleeding. Make sure you avoid behaviors like smoking or rinsing your mouth with saltwater, as this can aggravate your problem further.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage isn’t common, but it can happen. Because wisdom teeth are close to the inferior alveolar nerve, it sometimes becomes damaged in the extraction process. You may experience numbness in your lips if it happens to you. This is typically a temporary condition, but can be permanent, depending on the severity of the damage. Take extra care when chewing food or drinking. Your muscles will work fine, but you may not have the feeling necessary to provide you with feedback that tells you if you’ve bitten yourself accidentally.

Dry Socket

Part of the role of the clot that forms at the extraction site is to protect it against air and food debris. If that clot becomes dislodged, the underlying nerve becomes exposed. That can cause a lot of pain and increase your risk of developing an infection. You may find it helpful to rinse the socket with a saltwater rinse, take over-the-counter pain medication as directed, and use medicated gauze in the socket to help deal with it. It’s also a good idea to come see Dr. Updike so you can make sure the socket is thoroughly cleaned and you have the tools necessary to take care of yourself at home.

If you find yourself dealing with complications from a wisdom tooth extraction, it’s important to understand that you aren’t alone and that you don’t have to suffer in silence. Dr. Updike and the dental specialists at South Temple Dental are ready and waiting to help you. Make sure you get the medical care you need as soon as possible so you can have a speedy recovery.

Do you need help dealing with complications following a wisdom tooth extraction? Click here to contact South Temple Dental so you can get the help you need as soon as possible.