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Why Your Jaw May Be Sore After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

By Anna Keefe on September 12, 2017 in Dental Health

sore jaw after wisdom tooth extraction

Getting your wisdom teeth removed is often necessary if your dentist predicts tooth overcrowding. Wisdom teeth can affect surrounding teeth and your jaw. While there are many factors of recovery after the procedure, pay special attention to a sore jaw after wisdom teeth extraction.

Why do I have a sore jaw after wisdom teeth extraction?
The removal of lower wisdom teeth causes trauma to the surrounding muscles and sometimes bones. This trauma can lead to a condition called trismus, a restriction to mouth opening. Trismus is especially common when the third molar is impacted.

What can I do about it?
Trismus is often painful and can impact speech and the ability to eat. Trismus often goes away when the muscles begin to repair themselves, and does not require treatment. If your sore jaw does not go away on its own, talk to your dentist or oral surgeon.

Other Complications 
Wisdom tooth extractions are well-known for causing dry sockets. A dry socket occurs when the hole left behind by the extracted tooth becomes infected or when the scab that forms over the hole is removed. After your extraction, following every instruction your dentist gives you is the best way to avoid getting a dry socket. Even simple instructions, such as biting down on the gauze packing that is placed on the extraction site after the surgery, have an important role in the healing process.

It is important to follow all of your dentist or oral surgeon’s recovery instructions after the procedure. A sore jaw after wisdom teeth extraction is common, but make sure to tell your dentist or surgeon if something doesn’t feel right. 

Having a wisdom tooth extracted can be pricey if you don't have dental insurance. Find the right dental plan for you today.