Tooth extraction is a fairly straightforward process, but it can sometimes result in complications. Most of these complications show up within weeks of the extraction, so it is not normal if you are still experiencing pain in the gums months or years after the procedure.
It is important to understand all the possible complications of tooth extraction before the procedure so that you know what to look out for. Read on for more information about the potential risk factors of tooth extraction:
Gum Pain Years After Tooth Extraction
It is extremely rare to experience pain in the gums years after an extraction. One possible explanation is that a small part of the root of the extracted tooth was accidentally left behind.
After the extraction heals, it starts shifting around and dislodges from the bone it was attached to. This movement can also affect the surrounding soft tissue, and the discomfort and pain are similar to that of a new tooth growing in.
It’s also possible that a small part of the bone broke off during the tooth extraction. Since it is not connected to any living tissue, it is somewhat like a foreign object lodged in the gums.
It is far more common for patients to experience pain from these situations a few weeks or months after the extraction rather than years after an extraction.
If you do experience this kind of pain, you need to consult your dentist and get an X-ray or CT scan of your teeth and jawbone. This will help rule out other causes like infection or cysts in the affected area.
The anatomy of the mouth is such that teeth are very close together, and it is not always easy to tell which tooth is causing the pain.
Another very rare cause of chronic pain in the extraction site is a condition known as atypical odontalgia. It is experienced after extraction and has no apparent cause.
The pain is a dull ache or constant throbbing, which is persistent. It is not set off by biting down, chewing, or exposure to hot or cold foods. The pain can be severe or mild depending on the patient and is treated through pain medication.
While there’s no telling if you will experience complications after a tooth extraction or how severe they might be, it is best to err on the side of caution and do everything you can to prevent any complications.
The following practices will help reduce the risk of complications after tooth extraction and help the healing process:
- Rest for at least a day after the procedure. Take it easy, and don’t do any intense physical activity for 24 hours after tooth extraction. Any sort of activity could result in the early dislodging of the blood clot from the wound
- , which can result in a dry socket later. Your dentist will give you further instructions on when it is okay to resume normal activity. Follow these instructions closely.
- Use ice packs to help reduce the pain after the anaesthesia wears off. You can also use heat later to help eliminate the swelling in the affected area.
- You can also ask your dentist about when to apply cold or heat to your face to relieve the post-procedure symptoms. Take painkillers if needed.
- Have a lot of fluids after the procedure, but stay away from coffee, tea, sodas, alcohol, and hot or cold drinks.
- After the extraction, people often use a straw to protect the affected site, but the sucking sensation can actually suck out the blood clot from the wound. So don’t use a straw, but instead slowly sip room-temperature beverages.
- At least for the rest of the day, eat only soft foods. Also, take care not to accidentally bite your cheek before the anaesthesia wears off.
- The anaesthesia lasts for a few hours after the procedure and might make you feel like you can handle solid food or hot or cold beverages, but avoid them and stick to whatever your dentist recommended.
- After the procedure is over, brush your teeth very gently and rinse your mouth. Do not let anything come in contact with the affected area for the first day.
- From the second day onwards, start rinsing your mouth with lukewarm saltwater 3-4 times a day.
- Stop smoking for at least two days after the extraction. Using tobacco or smoking will drastically increase your chances of experiencing complications and slow down the healing process.
It is exceptionally uncommon for a patient to experience pain in the gums years after a tooth extraction. Most complications show up within a few weeks or a couple of months at the most.
Be very thorough with aftercare and follow your dentist’s instructions carefully to avoid excessive pain or other complications after the procedure.