tooth infection

Tooth Extractions: Understanding Associated Complications

Tooth extractions can be an unpleasant experience, to say the least. Whether it’s pulling a tooth that has fallen victim to tooth decay or tooth infection, or removing those pesky wisdom teeth to relieve tooth crowding, extractions are sometimes unavoidable. But what’s even worse is dealing with complications after your procedure. Hopefully, by following your dentist’s aftercare instructions, you’ll be able to avoid any complications completely. However, it’s a good idea to be aware of any possible complications that may occur after your procedure.

With that being said, this article will give a brief overview of possible complications that can arise after tooth extractions.

Possible Complications

One of the biggest risks after having an extraction is tooth infection. Typically, the healthiest people have a low risk of infection, with risk increasing among elderly and child patients. Additionally, the more teeth that are involved in the procedure, the higher the risk.

Dry sockets are another possible complication after tooth extraction. A dry socket involves excessive pain, swelling, and increased bleeding from the extraction site. Dry sockets are rare but do require immediate attention if they form.

How to Prevent Complications

The easiest and most important step of preventing complications after dental surgery is to follow your dentist’s directions for proper aftercare. Basic aftercare usually involves things like not chewing food on the side of extraction and keeping the area clean and free of debris. Additionally, you need to be careful brushing and flossing in order to keep the extraction area protected. Your dentist may advise you to rinse with a saline solution to keep your mouth clean.

Treatment of Complications

With any sort of complication, even minor issues, you should contact your dentist right away. Some complications are expected. For example, it’s normal for the gums at the extraction site to swell. However, excessive swelling may be a sign of a bigger problem. For minor swelling, your dentist will most likely recommend ice packs or warm compresses.

For a tooth infection, antibiotics will likely be prescribed. As the antibiotics fight the infection, side effects of pain and swelling will decrease. It’s important to remember that while pain medication may ease your pain in the moment, it won’t solve the underlying issues.

While unpleasant, tooth removal is fairly common in the United States. In fact, about 15 million people have crown and bridge replacements for their missing teeth. Fortunately, with today’s science complications are fairly rare. But it’s still important to do your best to prevent any complications. While some complications may be unpreventable, you should do everything your dentist advises and contact them with any questions or concerns.