Wisdom Teeth Removal Infection – Peninsula Oral & Facial Surgery
Wisdom teeth removal is a routine procedure performed by your oral surgeon in San Mateo. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause infections and damage the other healthy, functional teeth in your jaw. Pain and swelling are common with an impacted (stuck) wisdom tooth.
At Peninsula Oral & Facial Surgery, we have extensive experience performing routine and complex wisdom tooth removal treatments. While Wisdom teeth removal infection (an infection that starts after extraction) is rare, it is something that a small number of patients experience.
Here’s what you should look for, and what you should do if you believe you have a wisdom teeth removal infection.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Timeline
The wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline can vary depending on the type of extraction, how many teeth were removed, your age, and your overall health. More complex extractions typically come with a longer wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline.
Here’s what you can expect in most cases…
Recovery Day 1: On the first day of removal you’ll experience some swelling and bleeding, along with some discomfort. Discomfort will become most apparent after the anesthesia wears off. You will be given a long acting local anesthesia medicine to help with your pain the first day. This will also often cause your lip to be numb until the following morning. We will review a pain medication strategy with you to help keep you comfortable.
Recovery Day 2 to 3: The swelling and discomfort typically peak on day 3 of the wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline, before starting to subside. You should rest and avoid strenuous activity. You should eat soft foods and take small bites. Do not starve yourself, even though eating may be sore, it is important to give your body the energy it needs to heal. You can return to normal brushing, but don’t brush where the teeth are missing. You can supplement tooth brushing by using the mouth wash provided.
Recovery Day 4 to 7: After the first week of the wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline, the swelling and discomfort should be minimal or gone altogether. You can return to normal activity, although you should continue to rinse your mouth, avoid hard food, and follow any specific post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon.
Recovery Day 7 to 10: Your follow-up appointment (if necessary) will be scheduled at this time. Your surgeon will check healing and look for any complications, such as wisdom teeth removal infection.
Recovery Day 10 and Beyond: You should feel good approaching two weeks into the wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline. Some people still have a little swelling and discomfort at this time, but the healing should be well underway. You can start to reincorporate a range of foods to get back to your normal diet.
This wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline is what most patients will experience, although there may be some specific elements of your case that make your recovery unique. You’ll have a post-operative consultation to discuss any specific expectations or precautions that you need to take during recovery.
Signs You May Have a Wisdom Teeth Removal Infection
Wisdom teeth removal infection is rare but it can occur when bacteria accumulates around the treatment site. Even with a perfect surgery, there’s still a slight risk of wisdom teeth removal infection.
If bacteria enter the treatment site you could experience swelling and pain. Because these symptoms are normal during the recovery timeline, you should only worry about this if the swelling and discomfort don’t subside significantly after the first week. There should be a noticeable improvement around the fourth day after surgery, after which time these symptoms should taper off. The most concerning sign is a sudden and unexplained return of pain or swelling after day 4 or 5. This may not represent a wisdom teeth removal infection, but should be evaluated by your surgeon to confirm that you are still healing normally.
In addition to the above, you may also experience persistent bad breath, oozing, and pus discharge from the treatment site, general soreness around the treatment site, and persistent sour and bitter taste sensations. Some patients who experience wisdom teeth removal infection also develop extreme sensitivity from hot or cold foods.
If you experience any of these symptoms, tell your dental surgeon. You can have a follow-up examination to determine if an infection is present. This may be treated with antibiotics, or in rare cases by draining and cleaning the extraction site. Bone grafting may be performed in even rarer cases after infected materials are removed.
Each case is unique, so the treatment plan will vary depending on your situation.
Can You Use Listerine After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
You can use mouthwash to help remove debris and bacteria after having wisdom teeth removal treatment. Listerine after wisdom teeth removal will help to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
In some cases, your surgeon may prescribe a specialized mouthwash, but Listerine after wisdom teeth removal is common. There is no evidence that using Listerine after wisdom teeth removal will help to reduce the risk of infection, but if it does not hurt or sting, there is little downside to returning to your normal mouth wash routine after 4 days.
You should use Listerine after wisdom teeth removal on the fourth day of recovery. You can use mouthwash up to three times a day, or whenever you eat or drink anything other than water.
There are alternatives to Listerine after wisdom teeth removal, including warm salt gargle, or other mouthwash products approved by the American Dental Association.
Book a Consultation for Wisdom Teeth Removal Infection With Your Dental Surgeon in San Mateo
If you suspect an infection or have any concerns after your surgery, you can call us to book an appointment with your dental surgeon in San Mateo. Peninsula Oral & Facial Surgery offers detailed dental care for the best possible outcomes. Wisdom teeth removal infection is rare, but there’s always a risk and the outcome is best when it is detected and treated early. You’ll enjoy the compassionate care, detailed treatment options, and expertise offered by our team.