infection after tooth extraction

Infection After Tooth Extraction: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Even though your tooth extraction is simple and straightforward, complications are still possible.

Since wisdom tooth extraction is the most common dental surgery procedure, millions of people each year experience some form of complications or discomfort afterward. In most cases, this is entirely natural. Of course, getting a tooth removed from your mouth is a significant procedure, and it will take your body some time to recover.

However, if you notice an abnormal amount of pain in the days and weeks after your extraction, there is a chance that you may have developed an infection after tooth extraction. So, what exactly does an infection after tooth extraction look/feel like, and how do you know when it’s time to go and see your dentist?

How Do I Know If a Tooth Is Infected After Extraction?

For the most part, an infected tooth after extraction will make itself known in one way or another. You don’t have to worry about an infection going under the radar since you will almost certainly develop symptoms that will make the state of infection obvious to you.

So how do these infections develop in the first place? Well, an infected tooth after extraction usually occurs when bacteria can access the region where the tooth used to be. Once the bacteria enter the bloodstream, the infection begins. From there, the body will start to fight off the infection with various methods, including fever, swelling, and the build-up of pus. In almost all situations, this infection will cause intense pain that will continue to escalate until the infection is treated. Here is a quick checklist of the main indications of an infected socket after tooth extraction:

  • Escalating pain
  • Continuous bleeding
  • Bad breath
  • Discharge/pus

Interestingly, one of the most prevalent reasons for a tooth extraction infection is smoking too soon after the treatment or using any other oral tobacco products. That’s because smoking makes it much more difficult for the body to fight off an infection, and it also increases the likelihood of loosening the blood clot that forms in your mouth. As a result, try to refrain from smoking while you are recovering if you want to avoid picking up an infection after tooth extraction.

How To Get Rid of Infection After Tooth Extraction

Whether you’ve picked up an infected wisdom tooth extraction or you think you’ve picked up an infection from regular tooth removal, you probably want to know what the next steps are. First and foremost, head straight to your dentist as soon as possible so you can get the wound inspected and passed by a professional. Infections are a serious medical condition, and if they are left unchecked, they can cause severe complications. The sooner you start the treatment, the less traumatic and invasive it will be. If there is an infection present, the dentist will clean the area and likely prescribe a course of antibiotics for you to take at home.

How Long Does it Take For an Infected Tooth After Extraction To Heal?

This all depends on the severity of the infection. For most regular extractions, you should be fully healed within one to two weeks, but an infection will delay this process.

Another thing to take into consideration is the reason for the tooth extraction and where it was located. For example, if you had a tooth removed because of an abscess, you need to wait to see what happens to the abscess after tooth extraction and if it has been successfully removed.

What if my tooth is infected?

Sometimes, an infection can spread to your other teeth if the bacteria manage to get inside through a chip, crack, or cavity. So, can a dentist pull an infected tooth? The short answer is yes, of course – but it is not the first course of action.

In most cases, the dentist will do everything they can to save the infected tooth, with extraction acting as a last resort. Before that happens, the dentist will usually try to drain the infection or perform a root canal. So the answer to can you pull an infected tooth is yes, but this will only be the treatment if all else fails.

The bottom line

Picking up an infection after a tooth extraction is not exactly the most comfortable of experiences, but it is easily treatable if you take action promptly. If you notice any of the obvious symptoms such as excessive and escalating pain, continuous bleeding, bad breath, and pus/discharge, then make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible so they can assess your situation and start your treatment.