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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

07/21/2010

Question:

Hello! I had one wisdom tooth extracted 2 1/2 months ago and I am still experiencing pain and swelling in my jaw. Is this normal? I am now on my third round of antibiotics and things have not gotten better. The oral surgeon that did the surgery has not said one way or the other if this is normal. All that I have been told is that everything looks good. I don’t know how this can be good. I can’t help but wonder if he is not telling me everything that I need to know. I hope I can get some kind of answer from you! Thank you so much!!

Answer:

I guess I have a couple of questions that you will need to ask yourself. Is what you are experiencing pain or a tingling sensation? Is your jaw visibly swollen or does it feel swollen? A nerve runs through your jaw and can come very close to or even touch many wisdom teeth. If this nerve is damaged, you can have a tingling sensation and have the area feel swollen. If it is true pain or visible swelling, this is not the case.

There are a couple of common things that can cause pain even after 2 ½ months. If there was tissue surrounding the roots of the teeth that were extracted and it was not removed, it could cause these symptoms. If you have an infection that simply does not have a way to drain, antibiotics do not do a great job in these situations. Much less likely is that you could have a jaw fracture. This would show up on x-rays and is usually detected easily by an oral surgeon.

The easiest way to be sure is to have the surgeon go back into the area and make sure it is clean. It should respond quite quickly if that is the problem. Of course, it could be as simple as another tooth causing the problem. Good luck.

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Response by:

Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University