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Dentistry/Tooth extraction with debilitating pain


I had a tooth extracted 6 days ago. My dentist said it was tooth #14. I had local for the procedure and felt pretty good after the first 36 hours. Some tenderness but nothing unmanageable. By the end of the second day I was in pain. My head hurt with severe headache and increased pain at the extraction site.
On the 6th day I am in more pain with even worse headache, more pain on the left side of my face. But at this point the pain is affecting my ability to do my everyday activities. I was prescribed vicodan as needed for pain which hasnít helped. At this point I am taking advil 400mg every 3-4hours around the clock. Applying ice packs and rinsing with saltwater. The other mild symptoms are bad taste in my mouth and nauseated. To note there was a suture placed to pull together the extraction site and the stitch comes out in the middle of my palate on the left. Any movement of this stitch causes extreme pain.
I am wondering if the stitch could have gone through a nerve and this is what is causing the intolerable pain.

Leslie -  Without actually examining you I cannot be 100% sure, but the combination of your symptoms of pain and the bad taste in your mouth indicates an inflammatory condition, called a dry socket, has developed.  This happens occasionally, but the doctor needs to aggressively treat this to help you.  The doctor needs to irrigate the socket and then place a medicated piece of gauze in your mouth.  The medication will help the healing process and at the same time decrease the pain.  This needs to be repeated in two days with the socket irrigated at the same time.  This area needs repeated evaluation, irrigation and repacking until the pain is gone and the socket is healed.

If your dentist does not handle this, many don't know the diagostic criteria for this, you should make an appointment with an oral and maxillfacial surgeon.   Get this evaluated soon and if your doctor is not sure, see the oral surgeon.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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