Do you have a sore throat after wisdom tooth removal? Are you feeling a tingling or pain in your throat, and it hurts when you swallow. A lot of people complain about having a sore throat, swollen cheeks, painful neck, infections etc. after their wisdom teeth surgery.
If you are suffering and wondering why these seemingly unrelated parts would hurt after the surgery, here is your answer.
Understanding the Wisdom Tooth
Wisdom teeth are a natural part of your mouth. However, unlike other teeth, they do not erupt until the age of 17-25 years. The eruption of wisdom teeth can sometimes cause serious complications.
You can also experience a sore throat due to an impacted wisdom tooth growing in. The wisdom tooth is covered by a flap of gum tissue. This makes it easy for food particles to get stuck around that area, consequently causing a bacterial infection. And since the wisdom tooth is located very close to the rear of your mouth, it can also cause a sore throat.
Doctors suggest that wisdom tooth removal is the best method for relief from any such complications.
Is it Normal to Have Sore Throat After Wisdom Tooth Removal?
If you have a sore throat or painful facial muscles after you’ve got your wisdom tooth removed, don’t panic! This is absolutely normal and there’s nothing to worry about.
Sore throat, tender and painful jaw, and swollen cheeks are a result of a common post-surgery complication and they can be cured easily.
Here are a few things you might experience:
- Bleeding: If you have a slight bleeding, or redness in your saliva, you might want to talk to your doctor as this is not normal.
- Swelling: Swelling is the body’s reaction to surgery and this starts a natural healing process. It can happen around the cheeks, neck, jaw, or even your eyes.
- Nausea and vomiting: If you experience something like this, do not eat anything for about an hour. You can slowly sip on a cold drink like cola or a milkshake.
- Skin discoloration: This can be caused due to swelling as blood spreads under the tissues. This is again very normal and gets normal within 2-3 days.
- Numbness: If you experience numbness in your oral cavity, do not worry. Just be careful not to bite your tongue, lips, or cheeks.
- Mild fever: A mild fever post-surgery is natural. You can take Tylenol or ibuprofen if it persists.
- Dizziness: Lack of nourishment before and after the surgery can make you feel dizzy. The pain medication can also cause dizziness. Make sure to sit for a minute as you wake up from a lying position.
- Dryness: This can happen if the corners of your mouth were stretched during the surgery. Use some Vaseline or a lip balm to moist your lips and you will be good.
- Pain: Moderate or even severe pain post-surgery is normal. You want to take the prescribed medicines to relieve the pain. However, if you have experienced sudden and severe pain in the surgical area, this might be a ‘dry socket‘.
Can wisdom teeth Cause Sore Throat
As mentioned above, the wisdom tooth is situated very close to the rear of your mouth. Therefore, swelling in the muscles around the wisdom tooth also impacts the neck region, resulting in a sore throat.
However, this is not the only reason for the severe pain. One of the most common postoperative complications is a ‘dry socket’.
What is a Dry socket?
Generally, a blood clot is formed right above the site of tooth extraction. This clot works as a protective layer for the nerve endings inside the empty tooth socket.
A dry socket occurs when this blood clot gets dissolved or removed before the wound is completely healed. This results in an exposure of the underlying nerve endings, causing intense pain at the surgical site and the surrounding area.
Some symptoms of a dry socket are
- Intense pain after 2-5 days of the surgery
- Visible bone in the empty socket
- Partial or total loss of the clotted blood on the surgical site
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant taste
- Swollen lymph nodes near the neck or jaw
- Slight fever
For how long will the pain last?
The sore throat after wisdom tooth removal shall last for 2 to 3 days and begin to subside gradually. However, if you have persistent pain even after 3 to 5 days of the surgery, you will need to see your dentist again. It is not normal to have severe pain after 24-72 hours of the removal.
The same is true for pain in any other oral parts like your cheek, neck, or jaw. You might experience the peak pain until 2-3 days which shall gradually reduce and completely vanish within one to two weeks of the wisdom tooth removal. If it is not getting any better, you should talk to your doctor right away.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Aftercare
Things to take care of immediately after the surgery
- Put firm pressure on the gauze pad to keep it in place for at least half an hour after the tooth extraction. This will also help to control any bleeding from that area.
- Change gauze pads every 45-60 minutes until you stop experiencing active bleeding.
- Avoid activities that might dislodge the clot or cause bleeding. This includes touching the surgical area, spitting, or rinsing vigorously.
- As the anesthesia wears off, you will start experiencing some pain and discomfort. Take the prescribed pain medication as soon as you eat anything before the numbness wears off.
- Do not perform any heavy or rigorous activities on that day. You can resume your daily activities from the next day.
- You can brush your teeth before sleep at night but rinse gently. You can just put some water in your mouth and let it drip on its own.
Diet to be followed after tooth removal
- Drink plenty of liquids. It is recommended to take at least six glasses of water daily. Do not use a straw to consume liquids as the sucking motion might dislodge the blood clot.
- Eat more soft foods like fruits, vegetables, lentils, and soft cereals.
- Include calorie and protein-rich foods in your diet.
- Finally, do not miss a meal. Eating healthy food will fasten the healing process and make you feel better and stronger very soon!
Home Remedies for Sore Throat
- Gargling with salt water is first and easiest remedy to heal a sore throat. Mix a half spoon salt with a cup of lukewarm water and gargle gently.
- Peppermint helps in thinning mucus and calm sore throat.
- Drink hot chamomile tea and lots of liquids 2-3 times a day to sooth a sore throat. It will hydrate your throat and work as antibacterial.
- Licorice root is an very effective herb for sore throat and help to fight viruses. Boil one table spoon of crushed licorice root and 2 cups of water. Sieve before drinking.
- Drinking lemon and honey will help in healing any side effects after surgery. Mix one small spoon of lemon juice and honey into a cup of warm water for faster relief. Drink many times a day as needed.
- Chewing a raw garlic kills the bacteria that causes sore throat. In case you don’t like chewing, you can also use chopped garlic and take it with a glass of water.
While not having your wisdom tooth removed can be uncomfortable, the removal can also bring along painful complications.
Having a sore throat after wisdom tooth removal is as normal and very common complication in many patients. The pain shall last for 2-3 days. However, if it takes any longer to get any better, you need to see your doctor again.