If you are one of the millions of people who have had their wisdom teeth removed, you may be wondering what to do if you experience an infection after the surgery. Wisdom teeth infection after removal can be a serious complication, and it is important to know the signs of infection so that you can get treatment as soon as possible. In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of wisdom teeth infection after removal, as well as how to treat it.
What is a Wisdom Tooth Infection?
The wisdom teeth are the backmost molars in your mouth, and they are the last teeth to erupt, typically around the age of 18. Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, and it is usually performed because wisdom teeth can cause issues if left in your mouth. A wisdom tooth infection typically occurs in less than 5% of patients after wisdom teeth removal surgery.
While wisdom teeth removal is a relatively safe procedure, there is always a risk of infection. The wisdom teeth are located in a difficult-to-reach area of the mouth, and this can make it difficult to keep the area clean after surgery. In addition, wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure, and any time surgery is performed there is trauma to the area. These two reasons make it easier for bacteria to enter the wound, without being cleaned, causing an infection.
An infected wisdom tooth can cause severe pain, swelling, and other symptoms. If left untreated, an infection can travel to other parts of the body and cause serious health complications. This includes constriction of the airway, which can be life-threatening.
What Are the Signs of an Infection?
If you have wisdom teeth removal surgery, it is important to be aware of the signs of infection so that you can get treatment as soon as possible. The most common signs of wisdom teeth infection after removal are pain and swelling that starts at the back of the mouth and radiates to other areas. Other symptoms include an unpleasant taste, halitosis (bad breath), purulent discharge (brownish yellowish fluids), limited mouth opening, and difficulty swallowing.
Please note that these symptoms can also be signs of other conditions, like a dry socket or just regular healing after wisdom teeth removal. Additionally, each patient will have different symptoms depending on their exact situation. Some patients may experience severe and sudden versions of the symptoms listed above. Others may experience milder, longer, and slowly building symptoms.
If you are experiencing multiple of these symptoms and are concerned about possibly having an infection, it is important to see your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible so that they can properly diagnose and treat your condition.
How Is an Infection Treated?
The treatment for an infection after wisdom teeth removal will vary depending on the severity of the infection and the training of each dentist. In general, a dentist will choose to do any combination of the treatments below.
Thorough Cleaning and Keeping Good Oral Hygiene
The first line of defence against wisdom teeth infection after removal is a thorough cleaning of the impacted area and maintaining good oral hygiene habits. Your dentist will most likely use a sterile solution (saline, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide) to clean out the area. They may also physically remove any visible pus or debris. After the cleaning, your dentist will give you a list of instructions on how to take care of the area at home. This includes brushing and flossing regularly to prevent further buildup.
Pain Management Medication
One of the most important things when dealing with a wisdom tooth infection is making sure that your pain is alleviated. To help decrease the amount of pain you are feeling dentist can prescribe pain medication or give you local anesthetic injections to help manage the pain. This could be something such as Tylenol-3. Additionally, you may be instructed to take over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
If the wisdom teeth infection is suspected to have spread outside of the original extraction area, your dentist will most likely prescribe antibiotics. Amoxicillin is usually the first choice, however, if you are allergic to penicillin erythromycin can be used instead. These antibiotics will help prevent the infection from spreading and also help to decrease the pain and swelling you are experiencing.
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No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.