Wisdom teeth are the least wanted molars in the mouth. These large flat teeth grow at the back of the mouth, and you probably know how most people prefer getting them extracted out due to fear of causing oral problems later.
Wisdom teeth develop between ages 15-25 and are difficult to maintain. From impaction to their difficult-to-reach position, many things about them and their growth pattern lead to many problems.
If you are getting your third molars removed and want to know what you should expect in terms of pain with wisdom teeth removal, this write-up is for you.
WISDOM TEETH SURGERY PROCEDURE:
Wisdom teeth extraction is a chair-side surgery, but it is considered a major operation due to its complications. The complication level of the process depends on the positioning of your wisdom teeth.
WHEN WISDOM TEETH ARE FULLY GROWN: If you are one of those few lucky people whose mouth allows enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt out of the gum completely, the process of your surgery is relatively simple. The surgery would be similar to any other tooth extraction operation, and you would be done in about 20 minutes. Recovery would also be fast in comparison to when there is impaction.
WHEN WISDOM TEETH ARE IMPACTED: The main problem regarding wisdom teeth is their growth. By the time it develops, all the other teeth are grown and have taken up space, and therefore there is not much space left for wisdom teeth to grow. This leads to impaction where wisdom teeth do not entirely erupt out of the gum; instead, they wholly or partially remain hidden beneath them.
In this case, the process gets challenging as the extraction requires cutting through the jaw bone and gum. Dentists usually need to break your teeth into pieces to minimize damage to the jaw bone. This process involves more complications and risks. The recovery time is also relatively more.
ANESTHESIA: Mainly, there are two kinds of anesthetics given before the procedure. Local anesthesia is sufficient for most people. It involves a shot of drugs injected into the soft tissue surrounding the teeth. It numbs the whole mouth, and you won’t feel anything other than a bit of pressure due to the doctor rocking the teeth to make space in the socket. Its effect lasts for almost 4-5 hours after surgery.
General anesthesia is rarely given, in big hospitals, when there is impaction in your teeth. You won’t feel any pain or have any memory of the surgery because you would be sleeping through the process.
SEDATIVES: Sedatives are sometimes given to counter anxiety and relax the patient. They might be intravenous or something like a laughing gas breathed from the mask.
The process typically takes 45 minutes at maximum. After the effect of sedatives wears off, the patient starts experiencing pain.
PAIN AFTER WISDOM TEETH EXTRACTION:
As with any other surgery, pain after wisdom teeth extraction is standard. After the effects of anesthesia go away, usually 6 hours post-surgery, the patient is likely to experience peak pain. The doctor would most probably prescribe some pain killers to combat the pain.
After the operation, in the first 24 hours, patients typically go through nociceptive pain. This is acute discomfort caused by bone and tissue damage. With time this would decrease in intensity.
Usually, patients feel traces of blood coming out of the mouth in the first few hours besides swelling and pain. It is important to mention that it is entirely normal to experience some discomfort after the surgery. The severity of the pain and healing time depends on the type of surgery and any complications. However, medicines should be taken on time to keep them in control.
HOW LONG DOES PAIN LAST AFTER SURGERY?
The recovery after the surgery depends on how it was performed. If the teeth were impacted, the damage to the jaw bone and gums would take a long time to heal, and the patient needs at least a week to resume normal activities.
On the other hand, if the surgery was not complicated and there were no post-operational health problems, the patient would recover in 3-4 days.
WHEN IS PAIN AFTER SURGERY NOT NORMAL?
Pain after wisdom teeth extraction is normal in the first few days. However, if you continue experiencing excruciating pain at the surgery site even after ten days, it probably is time to call your doctor. Pain for a prolonged time is commonly a result of post-operational complications. These problems, if left untreated, can cause severe health issues from which recovery might be difficult.
Some of the associated risks and possible complications related to wisdom teeth extraction are as follows:
DRY SOCKET: At the extraction site, a blood clot is formed, which covers the area and helps in healing. If this blood clot dislodges, the empty socket and underlying nerves get exposed. This gives rise to a severe condition called dry socket. It occurs 3-5 days after surgery and can be recognized by a very sharp, throbbing pain.
INFECTION: Smoking after injury, not maintaining oral hygiene, or dry sockets can lead to infection in the gums. This is very rare but if you feel it happening, get in touch with your dentist immediately.
NERVE INJURY: Wisdom teeth lies very near to the inferior alveolar nerve. Sometimes during surgery, this nerve gets damaged, causing pain. Loss of sensation in the lips indicates this condition.
NAUSEA: Pain pills, anesthesia, and traces of blood can all make a person feel nauseous. Though it is normal if you experience severe vomiting, make sure to get it checked.
FEVER: If post-surgery fever occurs, it could be because of some other complication. Therefore, dentists should be informed about it.
EXCESSIVE BLEEDING: If the extraction site keeps bleeding even after 8-12 hours, it is not normal and could be because of a dry socket. Therefore, it should be taken very seriously.
HOW TO REDUCE PAIN AFTER OPERATION?
The pain after extraction, as stated earlier, is normal and inevitable. However, there are a somethings that help alleviate it.
MEDICINES: It is essential to take all the prescribed medicines on time. Post-surgery, your doctor probably would give you pain killers like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. To counter inflammation and enzyme Bromelain might be administered. Medicines like Aspirin should be avoided because it increases the risk of bleeding.
SOFT FOOD: Consuming moderately hot soups and soft food that can be crushed without chewing like boiled potatoes is advised, which do not put pressure on teeth. It is important not to eat highly heated things because it can trigger sensitivity in teeth.
AVOID SMOKING: Smoking must be avoided in the first few months because it increases the chances of infection. It is also known to raise the risk of dry sockets.
AVOID STRENUOUS EXERCISE: Going to the sauna, playing hardcore sports, and doing strenuous exercises can severely strain the teeth and prolong the healing.
TAKE PROPER CARE OF ORAL HYGIENE: Taking proper care of oral hygiene, mouth wash, regular flossing, and brushing as per the doctor’s instructions can save you from cysts and inflammation.
DO NOT BRUSH HARSHLY: Brushing too hard, especially on the blood clots, can displace them, exposing the area and significantly raising the pain. Therefore, the patient should avoid brushing harshly till complete recovery.
HOME REMEDIES: Applying an ice pack against cheeks can help reduce swelling. Chamomile tea and lukewarm water work like magic for dryness and sore throat, caused by keeping the mouth open for the whole procedure. For a sore jaw, moist heat can be used.
Abiding by the list of instructions your doctor hands out to you is crucial to avoid any severe health conditions. Keeping your doctor in the loop and informing them of any developing health issue is essential. Schedule regular dental checkups for yourself to avoid any secondary complications.
We hope this article helped give you an idea of the pain you should expect after getting these big molars extracted out of your mouth. If you have any doubts or are still confused about the subject, consult your doctor or comment down below. And always remember that it is vital for you to feel comfortable and fully relaxed at the time of surgery. Anxiety and fear are natural. Just know that in a few weeks after surgery, you would be up and running. And so, if you need to get the operation done, go for it.