While it’s typical to experience some degree of discomfort after a tooth is removed, severe tooth pain after extraction is not normal. Throbbing pain during the first 24 hours after your tooth extraction is likely to be just a sign that your body is healing, and this type of tooth extraction pain should respond well to any over-the-counter or prescription medications. But, when does your pain necessitate seeing an emergency dentist? Let’s take a look.
The Body’s Response to a Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, pain typically begins to set in once the dental anaesthetic wears off, which means that the pain worsens, with symptoms peaking around 24 hours before they start to ease. The body considers a tooth extraction trauma, and its pain receptors recognise the damage and send a message to the brain that there is an injury.
This recognition sets off a course of actions that the body initiates – such as swelling to protect the area from further injury and releasing chemical endorphins to relieve pain. A throbbing pain is not unusual during the first 24 hours, followed by some stiffness, swelling and soreness for around a week. Severe or excruciating pain should not occur following a tooth extraction.
Causes of Severe Tooth Pain After Extraction
Dry socket is a painful condition that can occur after tooth extraction. The condition is caused by losing the blood clot that generally forms in the socket after a tooth is extracted. When this happens, the bone and nerves in the socket are exposed, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Dry socket is a relatively common complication, but you should make an appointment with an emergency dentist to get rid of any bacteria or food particles and pack the area with gel, paste or a dressing. To prevent the loss of a blood clot following extraction, patients should avoid the site area when brushing their teeth for the first few days after the extraction. They should also refrain from drinking through a straw as the sucking motion can cause the clot to loosen.
Although tooth extraction involves some discomfort and swelling, continual bleeding, swelling, fever, and redness may indicate the area is infected. Infection typically takes a few days to develop following the extraction, but it can also occur 3 or 4 weeks later, so be on the lookout for lingering symptoms or unusual pain.
Sinus Cavity Infection
Severe tooth pain after extraction may also indicate a sinus infection, which can occur after tooth extraction involving the upper molars. Because the upper molar tooth roots are close to the maxillary sinus, the thin membrane that separates them can sometimes rupture during extraction, resulting in sinus perforation that can lead to bacterial infection. Treatment is typically with antibiotics, so you may have to contact an emergency dentist to receive the treatment to clear the infection up. Repair work will also have to be done once the infection has cleared.
To lessen the risk of sinus exposure, the dentist or oral surgeon will examine the patient’s X-ray to pinpoint the location of the maxillary sinus and other important anatomical structures to avoid them during surgical extraction.
The Bottom Line
Following your tooth extraction, it’s a good idea to have a check-up with us, so we can check the socket to ensure it is healing well. It’s also wise to follow hygiene and aftercare instructions to prevent infection. The thought of getting teeth pulled may worry you, but it really isn’t as bad as you imagine it to be. We take careful measures to ensure the experience is as safe and comfortable as possible.
Severe tooth pain after extraction is not typical, and you should schedule an appointment with an emergency dentist as soon as possible at Leichardt Marketplace Dental by calling us on (02) 9100 0188.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Nature: Innate immune responses to trauma
Mayo Clinic: Dry Socket