Having wisdom teeth removal surgery is not uncommon, with doctors saying that as many as 80% of people who have those 3rd molars need to have them removed. While the procedure itself is your dentist's responsibility, you will be given instructions for after-care that you must follow carefully. Failing to follow directions can potentially cause a complication to your oral health, which is why you must look out for these 4 signs of an infection.
Pain That Gradually Gets Worse
The procedure will cause your jaw to hurt afterwards, which is completely normal. You should have pain medication ready to go that will make you feel comfortable, which is typically prescribed for the first few days immediately following the procedure.
Once you start weaning off the pain medication, pay attention to your pain levels. If the pain is gradually getting worse, you should speak with your dentist immediately.
Increased Gum and Mouth Swelling
You will have swollen gums in the days immediately following your surgery, especially in the extraction area. You can use salt water to reduce any swelling you are experiencing. If you notice an increase in swelling, or swelling in a new area that was not previously swollen, something is wrong. Swelling should only be going down, not starting up again or forming in new areas.
Sudden Bad Breath
If you start to develop really bad breath, it could be a warning sign that you have an infection. Oral infections often lead to bad breath. A foul odor that doesn't go away for a couple days, or by rinsing out your mouth, is a reason to contact your dentist. Pay attention to any sort of discharge that is coming out of the surgical area, because this is a clear sign of infection and a cause of the bad breath.
A Fever That Does Not Go Away
Fevers are your body's way of fighting off an infection. If your fever cannot be treated with fever reducing medication, or your fever comes back after going away for a while, it is a sign that your body is fighting off an infection. Your dentist should investigate the surgical site for a potential complication.
Following proper after-care instructions is the best way to prevent any of these complications from happening. If an infection does happen, your dentist will be able to provide you with the proper antibiotics and inflammatory medication to help you recover. Contact a local dentist, like Arrowhead Family Dentistry, for more information.