Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the mouth, usually appearing in the late teenage years or early twenties. While they can be a valuable asset to the mouth if they are healthy and properly aligned, they often cause problems due to a lack of space in the mouth. When this occurs, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary.
Wisdom teeth removal is a common oral surgery that is performed to prevent future dental problems or to address issues that have already arisen. Some common reasons for wisdom teeth removal include impacted teeth, crowding, and infection.
While the recovery process from wisdom teeth removal can be physically uncomfortable, it is not uncommon for people to also experience strange sensations after the surgery. This can include sensations such as numbness, tingling, or a feeling of pressure in the mouth or face. These strange sensations can be a source of concern for many people, and it is important to understand the possible causes and how to manage them. In this article, we will explore the various factors that can contribute to strange sensations after wisdom teeth removal and provide tips for coping with them.
Pain and Swelling:
Pain and swelling are common after wisdom teeth removal and can cause strange sensations such as pressure, numbness, and tingling. This is due to the inflammation and swelling that occurs at the surgical site, which can put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the area. These sensations should gradually resolve as the swelling subsides.
Dry socket is a complication that can occur after wisdom teeth removal. It occurs when the blood clot in the socket is lost or dislodged, exposing the bone and nerve endings in the socket. This can cause sensitivity or pain in the area and can also lead to strange sensations such as numbness or tingling. Dry socket is relatively uncommon, occurring in about 2-5% of wisdom teeth extractions, but it can be more likely to occur in people who smoke or use certain medications, such as birth control pills.
Nerve damage is a rare but possible complication of wisdom teeth removal. It can occur if the nerves in the area are damaged during the extraction process. This can cause numbness or tingling in the lips, tongue, or cheek. Nerve damage is usually temporary and should resolve over time, but in some cases, it can be permanent. If you experience persistent numbness or tingling after wisdom teeth removal, it is important to contact your oral surgeon for further evaluation.
Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication can be helpful in alleviating pain and swelling after wisdom teeth removal. Your oral surgeon will provide you with specific instructions for taking pain medication and will recommend the best type and dosage for your needs. It is important to take the medication as prescribed and to follow any other instructions for pain management provided by your oral surgeon.
Applying cold compresses to the cheek can help reduce swelling and discomfort after wisdom teeth removal. To use a cold compress, wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth or use a store-bought cold pack. Apply the cold compress to the cheek for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. This can help reduce inflammation and swelling and provide some relief from discomfort.
If there is an infection or risk of infection after wisdom teeth removal, your oral surgeon may prescribe antibiotics. It is important to take the antibiotics as prescribed and to finish the entire course of treatment to ensure that the infection is fully treated.
Dry Socket Treatment:
If you develop dry socket after wisdom teeth removal, your oral surgeon will recommend treatment to help alleviate the pain and promote healing. This may include cleaning the socket, applying medicated dressings, and prescribing pain medication. It is important to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions for treating dry socket to ensure proper healing.
Tips for Managing Strange Sensations:
Rest and Relax:
It is important to allow your body time to rest and relax after wisdom teeth removal. This will help your body heal and can also help alleviate strange sensations. Try to take it easy and avoid strenuous activities, such as exercise, for the first few days after the surgery.
Eat Soft Foods:
Eating soft, easy-to-chew foods can help reduce pressure on the extraction site and promote healing. This may include foods such as mashed potatoes, soup, smoothies, and yogurt. Avoid hard, crunchy, or spicy foods that can irritate the surgical site and increase discomfort.
Avoid Smoking and Drinking Through a Straw:
Smoking and drinking through a straw can cause dry socket or disrupt the healing process after wisdom teeth removal. It is important to avoid these activities for at least the first few days after the surgery to ensure proper healing. If you are a smoker, it is especially important to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions for smoking cessation to minimise the risk of complications.