Infection after wisdom tooth extraction

Infection after wisdom tooth extraction: what to do? What is alveolitis? What causes infection after wisdom tooth extraction? Symptoms of infection after wisdom tooth extraction? What else can be expected after a wisdom tooth extraction? And finally, how can you avoid infection after wisdom tooth extraction?

I. What Is Alveolitis? 

When a tooth is extracted, complications are possible. The most common complication is dental alveolitis, which affects the alveolus, the cavity in which the tooth grows.

It is a problem caused by poor healing, the origin of which remains unknown.

II. Types of Alveolitis

There are 3 types of alveolitis, suppurative alveolitis, dry alveolitis and osteogenic alveolitis.

1. Suppurative Alveolitis

Suppurative alveolitis is a form of infection in which there is pus. It is a superinfection of the alveolus, probably favored by infections existing before the extraction of the tooth for example.

2. Dry Alveolitis

Dry alveolitis is the most common form of alveolitis. It is an infection that occurs when there is no blood clot formation.

3. Parcel Osteoid Alveolitis

This infection is also called day 21 cellulitis. In this type of alveolitis, it is the granulation tissue that is affected. This type of alveolitis has the particularity of occurring 3 weeks after the extraction of the tooth.

III. Causes of Infection After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

It is not uncommon to develop alveolitis following a wisdom tooth extraction, despite the supposed sutures.

This is due to the fact that the bone tissue is dense in the third molar. It is also possible to develop alveolitis following the extraction of a rotten wisdom tooth.

In this case, the bacteria on the tooth may have infected the socket.

IV. Symptoms of infection after wisdom tooth extraction

If you have developed a socket infection after your wisdom tooth is removed, the first thing you will feel is a lot of pain. This pain may spread to a whole area of your face.

Bad breath, difficulty opening your mouth, or an unpleasant taste are all signs of a tooth socket. Stay alert in the days following your tooth extraction.

V. Infection After Wisdom Tooth Extraction, What to Do?

Once the diagnosis of alveolitis has been made, the dentist will first try to stop the infection. To do this, antibiotics are prescribed.

Then, in the case of a dry socket, the area must be cleaned and disinfected.

Under anesthesia, the doctor removes the fragments of a blood clot and bone fragments present in the socket. He checks the condition of the tissue to make sure that necrosis has not started.

If it has, the dentist will prescribe a wash with trypsin, an enzyme-rich compound. This compound is very useful in cases of suppurative alveolitis, as it allows for the removal of pus and the deterioration of already dead tissue.

Once the area is clean and dry, a pad moistened with antiseptic medication will be placed over the socket.

Medication is prescribed, and an appointment is made to monitor the healing process.

On a day-to-day basis, there are a few things that can be done to help the tissue heal better.

First, avoid touching the area of the extraction when brushing your teeth.

Change your diet, giving preference to soft products that you can chew without too much difficulty. Do not eat acidic, salty, or spicy foods. These products can irritate your gums, as can foods that are too hot or too cold.

VI. What Else to Expect When Having a Wisdom Tooth Removed

1. Swelling

Frequently after a wisdom tooth extraction, some sort of mass will occur. It is not uncommon for the gums to swell shortly afterward.

Do not hesitate to apply a cold glove against it to soothe the pain.

2. Bleeding

48 hours after the extraction, it is normal to notice that your saliva is slightly pink, due to bleeding from your socket.

If the bleeding is severe, wet a compress and place it on the affected area. For 15 minutes, bite down gently on it.

3. Pain

Pain may occur shortly after the tooth is removed. Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist. If necessary, you can take painkillers for 5 days or even a week.

4. Difficulty Swallowing

Difficulty swallowing may occur, especially after the extraction. These difficulties are related to the sedatives you took during the extraction.

Their action numbs the throat and the mucous membranes and prevents you from swallowing normally.

5. Fever

Fever usually occurs if an infection has developed after the extraction. It follows the symptoms of pain and swelling. If the fever persists then you should contact your dentist.

6. Nausea and Vomiting

It is not uncommon for nausea and vomiting to occur after a wisdom tooth extraction, between 24 and 72 hours. But usually, this symptom disappears within 24 hours.

7. Difficulty Opening the Mouth

Because of the anesthesia, it may be difficult to open your mouth after your wisdom tooth extraction. In addition, the area is still quite sensitive and may make it difficult for you to move.

VII. How to Avoid Infection After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

1. Hygiene

There are a few things you can do to avoid infection after a wisdom tooth extraction. Do not brush the affected area for a week. But brush your teeth, preferably with a soft toothbrush.

Use the mouthwash prescribed by your dentist every day. Take your antibiotics to prevent infection and your painkillers to prevent pain.

2. Diet

For 48 hours after the tooth extraction, eat mainly soft foods and products. 

3. Smoking

If you are a smoker, you should avoid smoking after your wisdom tooth extraction. Smoking affects the healing process and slows it down.

4. Rest

Rest is essential to improve the healing of your gums. Avoid strenuous sports activities. This includes sports such as cardio, running, and cycling.

Increasing your heart rate will not help you heal faster.

VIII. Other Questions About Infection After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

1. How do I Know if a Wisdom Tooth Is Infected?

A painful wisdom tooth is often a sign of infection.

You may also feel swelling in the jaw, redness of the gums, fever, or even pus in your wisdom tooth.

2. How Long Does It Take to Heal After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Although there is no set amount of time, it is estimated that it takes between 10 and 15 days for healing to occur after a wisdom tooth extraction.

Obviously, this is the standard healing time if there are no complications.

3. How Do I Know if the Wisdom Teeth Are Healing Properly?

During the healing process, if you see a kind of whitish film appearing at the extraction site, then the gum is healing well.

In addition, the post-operative pain should disappear after a few days. If the pain persists and intensifies, if the fever increases or if you develop swelling, then you may have an infection.

4. How Do You Recognize Wisdom Tooth Pain?

When a wisdom tooth starts to grow in your mouth, you may feel pain. This pain may be accompanied by tender, red gums.

The pain is localized to the wisdom tooth, and may even be accompanied by a fever.

Useful Links:

Impacted wisdom teeth

Surgical removal versus retention for the management of asymptomatic disease-free impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

My Tooth Hurts When I Put Pressure on it, What to Do?

My Child’s Permanent Teeth Are Coming in Yellow, What Can I Do?

Black Stuff on Teeth Near Gums, What to Do?

What to Do with a Broken Molar Tooth?