Everyone experiences some level of discomfort or pain after wisdom teeth removal.
In order to remove your wisdom teeth the dental surgeon must loosen the tooth and in some cases, cut into the gum and jaw to extract your tooth. This will cause trauma to the area of the mouth that was operated on and after the anesthetic has subsided you will feel some form of pain or discomfort.
Treatment for pain after wisdom teeth removal
Common treatment for pain after wisdom teeth removal is to take paracetamol when required. If your pain is severe then you should always call your doctor or dentist to be sure that it is nothing to worry about.
Some people find it difficult to sleep after wisdom teeth removal particularly if you are in pain or are suffering from excessive swelling. Panadol have released a product which will aid in pain reduction as well as assisting with falling asleep, it is called “Panadol Night”.
This product should only be used if you are trying to go to sleep and only after you have consulted with a medical professional on its use. Panadol night tablets contain paracetamol and diphenhydramine. Note: Diphenhydramine is the active ingredient which causes drowsiness.
IMPORTANT: Do not take Aspirin for pain relief after wisdom teeth removal as aspirin can thin the blood which may prevent your mouth from healing as quickly.
Headache after wisdom teeth removal
Headaches are one of the less common side effects experienced after wisdom teeth removal. Some people experience them while others do not.
There are many things that cause headache after wisdom teeth removal including:
- Dehydration due to a reduced intake of water. This may be because your mouth is feeling sore or because you do not want to interrupt the blood clotting process by drinking liquids.
- Food caught in your gum where your tooth used to be. It has been reported that sometimes something as small as a grain of rice can get caught in the gum and aggravate a nerve which in turn causes headache.
- Lack of sleep brought on by pain in your mouth.
- Muscle spasms as a result of having your teeth extracted.
- It is possible you have a symptom know as Dry Socket which needs to be seen by your dentist immediately.
Jaw stiffness after wisdom teeth removal
Jaw stiffness usually lasts for roughly a week after surgery.
The primary reason for jaw stiffness is that your jaw has been stretched open for an extended period of time and this causes trauma to your jaw muscles. Once the jaw muscles have been damaged they stiffen and stop the mouth from opening too wide to prevent further injury.
If the jaw stiffness remains or is not improving after a week, then you should contact your doctor or dentist.
Jaw pain after wisdom teeth removal
Jaw pain is closely related to jaw stiffness in that they are caused by the same thing. If you are experiencing pain along with the stiffness then do not try to open your mouth too wide and try to keep up the pain relief medication.
Ear pain after wisdom teeth removal
The most likely cause of the ear pain after wisdom teeth removal is that there are many nerves in and around your teeth and jaw which go up through your head and past your ears. As you have had trauma in the area of the tooth extraction it is normal for the nerves to send pain signals to your brain. These pain signals invariably pass by your ear which can result in ear pain.
Ear pain is often caused by the patient biting down with force on something. This is one of the reasons why it is not recommended to eat tough, hard or chewy foods in the days immediately following a wisdom tooth removal. Check out – What to eat after wisdom teeth removal
Another cause of ear pain after wisdom teeth removal is infection at the site of the extraction. Infection is less likely if your dental surgeon has prescribed antibiotics but it is still a possibility.
Despite ear pain being a common problem, if the pain becomes severe or gets worse than normal you should contact your doctor or dentist to ensure the pain is not caused by something else like an infection.
Bone spur after wisdom teeth removal
It is possible that some of the pain after wisdom teeth removal can be caused by bone spurs. A bone spur is a bone fragment, which is not normally problematic but can be quite painful.
When a wisdom tooth is extracted it is possible that the bone bordering the tooth can be fractured. Most of these fractures will heal on their own, however the patient will likely feel pain and discomfort at the site of the bone fragment.
If a bone fragment is still causing problems 2 weeks after extraction – contact your dentist and ask for further advice. It is possible they will remove it for you if they feel it will not heal on its own.