Teeth Extraction Questions and Answers Archive

Sep
2001

Q&A: How long after wisdom teeth extraction do I have to wait before I can smoke tobacco or other substance?

Question:

IF I HAD MY BOTTOM 2 WISDOM TEETH PULLED, WHEN CAN I SMOKE A CIGERT? HOW LONG AFTER, AND WHEN A DOC SAYS NO SMOKING IS HE REFERING TO ALL SUBSTENCES OR JUST TABBACO?

- SARAH

Answer:

If you must smoke, give yourself a day or two post op to recover from the extractions. Better yet, quit.

-- Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida



Apr
2001

Q&A: Is there anything I can do to speed up the healing and stop the numbness after wisdom teeth extraction?

Question:

I recently had all my wisdom teeth removed. My surgon warned me that a nerve may be damaged during extraction. I called my surgon after a few days because I still had numbness in my lip, I asked for more information about this only to be set up with another appointment. I know that the numbness should go away within 3-6 months, but is there anything I can do to help the healing process, speed it up. Also, is there anything that I might be doing to hinder the process of healing??

- Joni

Answer 1:

I agree with Dr. King's answer. There is nothing to do to make it go away faster, nor is there anything you can do to create further damage. Often in small framed women the numbness may resolve faster when the swelling decreases as the nerve to the lower jaw passes through one of the jaw muscles before it enters the bone, and swelling in this area can cause you to have a numb lip as well. Tingly itchy feeling is a good sign that it is resolving, but the next stage may be a period of sensitivity where cold things feel colder and hot things hotter on the effected side, and you may occasionally feel an "electric" tingliness which means the nerve is in its final stage of healing. Let the doc keep an eye on it with you. Good Luck

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida

Answer 2:

David A. King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

Not much to do. If you are feeling itchy or tingly, that is a good sign. Seldom is the numbness permanent. Be patient and follow up with your surgeon.

--David A. King, DDS
Wilmington, Delaware



Mar
2001

Q&A: What should I do if the orthodontists refuses to put in braces unless a orthognathics, jaw surgery or partial glossectomy is done?

Question:

The orthodontist refuses to continue with braces until my daughter has either orthognatic (sp?) surgery on her upper jaw or a partial glossectomy to reduce her tongue size. The surgeon insists on the jaw surgery while my daughter has chosen (only because there have not been alternatives offered) the tongue surgery. I feel like I am backed into a corner. She is 16 and small boned. She has an open bite and cross bite on the left side. Her front teeth are fractionally off center. She was in braces for four years. The first two years seemed to be effective. Unfortunately, we moved before treatment was complete. The second orthodontist, whom I assumed was to continue the treatement, insisted on re-doing everything. Each month he "re-tied" according to his records. We moved again and the third orthodontist (same org as the second) was to complete the treatment. He took off the braces after six months saying four years was long enough. He put her in a retainer. We moved back to our first home and immediately returned to her first orthodontist. He was quite concerned because, after excpanding her palate, one side had partially collapsed creating a crossbite and, she still had an anterior open bite. He said to think about it but we would likely have to start over. He wanted to extract upper and lower bicuspids. The new ortho (who is oushing for the surgery options) says her tongue will likely just push the teeth out again despite the extractions and braces. I hate that she has already gone through so much. It has already cost a lot more than I can afford as a single mom. I don't know what to do or who to contact. In the meantime, I have paid out even more to this orthodontist who claims he can do it once and do it right BUT with the surgery. It never should have come to this and I am extrememly concerned as well as confused. CAn someone help or advise? Thank you Jamey

Answer:

David A. King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

I am confused also! I cant recommend the glossectomy when orthognathics or distraction osteogenesis will do the job. Texas is filled with top notch oral surgeons. get another opinion.

--David A. King, DDS
Wilmington, Delaware



Mar
2001

Q&A: Is it normal for the teeth next to where my wisdom teeth were extracted to hurt when touched?

Question:

THREE WEEKS AGO, I HAD ALL FOUR OF MY WISDOM TEETH EXTRACTED. THEY WERE ALL PULLED, NO STITCHES. MY QUESTION IS THIS: IS IT NORMAL FOR THE TEETH THAT ARE LOCATED BESIDE THE PLACE WHERE THE WISDOM TEETH WERE TO BE SORE. IT IS ONLY THE LOWER TEETH, AND THEY DO NOT HURT ALL OF THE TIME, BUT THEY DO WHEN I CHEW OR TAP ON MY TEETH WITH MY TOOTHBRUSH. IT FEELS LIKE THEY ARE BRUISED UNDERNEATH. CAN YOU HELP? THANK YOU!

- LORI

Answer 1:

David A. King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

What you are describing is not uncommon and should resolve. If this continues, follow up with your surgeon or dentist to evaluate the teeth.

--David A. King, DDS
Wilmington, Delaware

Sep
2000

Q&A: If nerves are cut during the process of removing wisdom teeth, is the numbness permanent and what can I do?

Question:

If nerves are cut during the process of removing wisdom teeth, is the numbness permanent? The oral surgeron had to use a drill to remove one of the wisdom teeth and now I have total numbness on one side of the face. What can I do? It has only been 2 weeks since my wisdom teeth were removed.

- Diana

Answer:

Usually numbness after wisdom tooth removal affects only the lower jaw and lip area on the side of the extraction, not the whole side of the face. Thankfully numbness after wisdom teeth removal is rare, and when it does happen often will resolve itself within the first month or two. I hope you stay in touch with your doctor, and discuss with him what your options are available.

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida



Mar
2000

Q&A: What is the cause of and timing for the loss of a large lump in my cheek following 4 wisdom teeth extractions?

Question:

I am a 23 yr old otherwise healthy female, and I just had all 4 wisdom teeth extracted 5 days ago. The two on my left side were both vertically impacted. They gave me IV sedation, and my teeth came out easily, so the surgery itself was painless and the rest of that day wasn't too bad except for the bleeding. The next day, however, my left cheek had become massively swollen. It is now still very swollen and moderately painful, with little sign of subsiding, making it very hard to smile or to open my mouth wide enough to fit small bites of food. My left cheek continues to be very tight and painful, but my main problem is that there is a half-walnut-sized lump in my cheek, a bit above the level of my mandible. It is extremely hard, seems like its located in the muscle, and doesn't appear to be getting smaller. I called the resident who performed my surgery, and he said that it just happens in some cases, and it might take 3 weeks to go away. Is that true? What causes it? Will exercising my jaw help, or should I try to keep it still? I'm a vet school student, and would like to know some of the medical details also. Thank you very much for your help!

- Kristen

Answer:

Dear Kristen, As you will no doubt learn in your orthopedic rotation what your are experiencing in a bony callus formation over the area where the bone was removed during the wisdom tooth extraction. As the natural underlying bone heals it will lay down a protective layer. As the socket fills the callus will disappear. It may last three weeks, but usually by the second week, baring any inflammation or infection, it should be quite small, and only perceptable with palpation. The pain in the more swollen side is most likely muscle inflammation which is best treated by ASA or NSAID and moist heat. Use the heat as you did the first day or two with the ice packs. You will have beter pain relief if you take the OTC meds on a regular schedule, just don't exceed the daily recommended dose ( prevent GI upset). You trismus, tight jaw will resolve faster as well with consistent use of the moist heat when you can do so. Do not attempt to over do jaw motion, as it will just further inflame the tissue. Stick to a softer diet and be protective of yawning and sneezing( I know sounds odd, but think about it) Also, as your resident will learn as time goes by...young women will swell more at your age for a number of reasons (big teeth, small mouth, his inexperience, length of time it takes to complete treatment etc...)but one he won't realize for a while is if he is right handed, all his patients will swell slightly more on the left because access and visibility are more difficult on that side for a right handed operator, especially if he was sitting down for the surgery! Us old guys still stand up for everything! Good luck with school and don't worry about your cheek, it will be very self limiting.

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida



Feb
2000

Q&A: What should I do if my dentist suggests cutting down my gums to save my teeth for 5 years before extracting them?

Question:

MY BOTTOM TEETH ARE DISLOCATING FROM MY BONE DUE TO BONE LOSE SAYS MY DENTIST HE SUGJESTS CUTTING MY GUMS DOWN TO GIVE MW ANOTHER FIVE YEARS BEFORE I SHOULD HAVE FOUR BOTTOM FRONT TEETH REMOVED WILL THIS WORK? HOW DOES IT WORK? AND ABOUT HOW LONG DOES THIS PROCEDURE TAKE? AND HOW LONG TO RECOVER? THANK YOU

- STEPHANIE

Answer:

Go now and make an appointment with someone else for a second opinion regarding your teeth. You did not state your age, or if you have any medical problems, or illness which could have contributed to this problem. I have no idea what type of "bone loss" you have, how much is gone, how stable the teeth are, or aren't, and I have not examined your mouth, nor seen your xrays. But if it were me, and some dentist said he wanted to cut my gums away so I can keep my teeth, maybe for 5 years, i would wonder why. If he's so sure you're going to loose them why does he need to take several thousand dollars out of your pocket first. If they're really that bad, don't do it. Have them extracted, and replace them with either a bridge or partial denture. If another dentist says they're not that bad then you know the first guy just wanted your money. I have yet to see a patient that was even remotely happy after gum surgery, and I've been in practice over 20 years! GOOD LUCK!

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida