Creating A More Beautiful Smile

Possible Complications Of Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you are aged 17 years and above, then your wisdom teeth have probably erupted. In this case, you may be wondering whether to remove them or not. One of the merits of extracting wisdom teeth is that you get to prevent the complications that may arise if they get impacted. Such complications include jaw pain, swollen gums and bad breath.

At the same time, extracting your wisdom teeth also carries some small risks such as:

Nerve Damage

The risk of nerve damage is very small, but it is there. The nerve in question is the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for transmitting facial (including oral) sensations to the brain. If this nerve gets nicked during the extraction, then you are likely to feel numbness, tingling and even pain in your oral and muscular regions such as the tongue, gums and lips.

As you can imagine, this may interfere with your normal life functions such as eating. The good news is that, even in the rare chance that the trigeminal nerve is affected, the damage is likely to be only temporary.

Alveolar Osteitis

The risk of developing a dry socket is a little bit higher than that of getting nerve damage.  Also known as a dry socket, alveolar osteitis is a condition in which your blood fails to clot within the affected tooth socket. In some cases, the blood clots, but then disappears a few days after the extraction.

You should suspect that you have a dry socket if:

  • An unpleasant smell emanates from the socket
  • You feel a throbbing pain in your jaw or gums, especially around the extraction site
  • You can see exposed bone in the socket
  • You develop a fever

See your dentist if the pain worsens, instead of decreases, a few days after the surgery.


Just like any other tooth extraction, the wound left by the wisdom tooth may become infected. Signs of an infection include persistent pain and swelling, discharge from the site and maybe a fever. Minimize the risk of an infection by adhering to all the post-extraction measures your dentist will give you. These may include rinsing the site with saline water (some hours after the extraction), maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene (though you shouldn't brush the wound directly) and avoiding cigarettes.

You need to weigh the pros and cons of extracting your wisdom teeth. Many people find that the benefits of removing the teeth outweigh the risks. For example, their extraction may help you to prevent many of the complications that come with compacted teeth. However, you should consult your dentist to help you decide what to do for your specific case. To find out more, contact a company like Four Corners Dental Group Fairbanks.