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Jaw pain after wisdom tooth extraction

Tooth extraction is never a pleasant experience. During the procedure there is no pain because dentists use a local anesthetic to numb the area. However, as soon as the anesthetic wears off, the pain will probably set in.

Tooth extractions are sometimes required, for example when a tooth is severely affected by decay and is beyond repair or if there is not enough room in the jaw for all the teeth to grow normally.

Wisdom teeth are often extracted even if they are not affected by cavities. They often become impacted, which means that they are either not erupted or they grow in an abnormal angle, possibly pushing against the adjacent teeth and damaging them. In those cases, dentists suggest wisdom teeth extraction. The extraction is sometimes done in a surgical procedure, where the dentist or the surgeon makes an incision and removes the tooth. This is done with a local anesthetic, but the zone where the tooth used to be usually hurts for several days after the procedure. Sometimes the pain can extend to the entire jaw or to some parts of it.

Causes of jaw pain after wisdom tooth extraction

Sometimes an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected. Because the impacted teeth are not properly erupted, the infection can easily spread to the jaw bone. Even after the tooth is removed, the infection takes some time to heal, which may lead to prolonged pain in the jaw.

In addition, because the impacted teeth are usually only partially erupted, the extraction requires drilling into the jaw bone to remove the tooth in its entirety. This trauma for the bone causes pain in the jaw after the extraction.

These are the main reasons for jaw pain after the extraction of wisdom teeth. However, even without these complications, teeth extraction causes a certain degree of trauma to the jaw, through pulling, drilling and other operations required for the removal of the tooth, which makes the area a bit sore or even painful afterwards.

Solutions for jaw pain after wisdom tooth extraction

The single best solution for the pain in the jaw bone following a wisdom tooth extraction is to take pain killers. The pain is bound to set in as soon as the anesthetic starts wearing off, which is why dentists recommend taking pain killers, for example ibuprofen, even before the pain actually starts. The pain killers or analgesics should be taken every few hours for 24 hours after the extraction. After that, they should only be taken when the pain starts.

The pain can worsen if the instructions for the aftercare provided by the dentist are not strictly followed. If everything goes normally and without complications, the pain should start decreasing within a couple of days.

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