What are the Risks of Oral Surgery? A Comprehensive Guide

Infection after oral surgery is a rare occurrence, but it can still happen. People with diabetes or a weakened immune system are more likely to develop post-surgical infections. Symptoms of infection include fever, abnormal swelling in the affected area, pus, and a prolonged bad taste in the mouth. Oral surgeons may prescribe antibiotics to treat any infections that arise.

Although oral surgeons do their best to protect adjacent teeth or existing dental work during oral surgery, injuries to the teeth or nearby tissue can still occur. Dry alveolitis is a painful complication that can arise after a tooth has been extracted. Normally, a clot forms in the cavity left by the extracted tooth; this clot protects the nerve and bone tissue exposed by tooth extraction until it naturally dissolves one week to 10 days after tooth extraction. In dry alveolitis, the clot breaks off prematurely, making the nerve more vulnerable and slowing down the healing process.

Oral surgery can also irritate nerves near the surgical site. Irritation of these nerves can cause a decrease or total loss of sensation in areas where the nerve acts, such as the lip, tongue, cheeks, chin, teeth, or gums. Although any numbness that occurs usually goes away in 24 hours or less, permanent numbness can occur. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) supports the mandible above the skull.

Removing wisdom teeth can cause inflammation and pain in the TMJ, especially if you have a pre-existing TMJ problem. Every time surgery is done, there is a small chance that an infection will occur later. Any infection should be taken seriously and reported to your oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics to treat the problem. Signs of infection include fever, abnormal swelling and pain, prolonged or unpleasant salty taste, and pus formation.

The most common type of oral surgery is tooth extraction (tooth extraction). An extraction may be recommended if you have severe tooth decay, gum disease (periodontitis), dental trauma, or complications with your wisdom teeth. Sometimes, tooth extractions are performed to prepare you for dentures or other prosthetic devices. Oral surgery involves a specific type of risk called dry alveolitis.

This is a condition in which an empty tooth socket takes much longer to heal due to the loss or minimization of blood flow. This risk is usually related to the patient's habit of smoking or leaving leftover food in the pocket due to poor oral hygiene after surgery. Talk to your oral surgeon about ways to prevent it.