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Dentistry/Infection after wisdom tooth removal


I had all four impacted wisdom teeth removed 5 weeks ago. The surgery went fine I believe, however afterwards I noticed that upper left wasn't healing properly. I kept touching it with my tongue and I guess the motion of moving my tongue aggravated the bottom left extraction site as it has now become swollen and painful. It is a white hard lump with some pus. I am wondering if it is because i kept touching with my tongue as my right side is just fine. Is it also weird that this happened 5 weeks later? I went to my dentist and he gave me amoxicillin for 7 days.

Alan - First of all, just touching the area with your tongue does not cause an infection.  Infection after the extraction occurs if surgery was too traumatic, if fragments of tooth or bone are left in the socket and an infection can occur if debris with bacteria became trapped in the socket.  So it is not you tongue, but debris that begins to grow slowly and finally causes the infection that you are now experiencing.  

Amoxicillin is fine, but more important, immediately begin warm salt water rinses in the infection area.  Do it for about 2-3 minutes, 4-5 times a day.  The warm salt water will speed the healing.

I wish you well and hope you are better soon.  


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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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