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Oral Surgery/Wisdom tooth extraction- with an infection

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Question
I had my lower, right wisdom tooth removed this morning, due to a bad infection that was not responding to antibiotics or pain medicines. I've been having the symptoms of the infection for 5 days prior to the removal, today. The pain meds I've been taking haven't worked for days, and I have been in agony. Now that the novacane has worn off from the surgery, I am once again in excruciating pain.
Because I am also 11 weeks pregnant, neither my OB or DDS will prescribe me anything stronger than the Tylenol w codeine.
The nurse in my OB office recommended I use clove oil for the pain. I am still having some bleeding from the extraction, and am not sure it I have to wait until that stops or if I can place the cotton ball w clove oil on the extraction site, now. Also, I've read conflicting advice on how long to leave it there. Should I "pack it" as some people have said? Or simply apply for a bit?
I have been in the worst pain of my life since Friday... haven't been able to eat, sleep, anything...please help!!!

Answer
Erika - Do not place anything into the socket.  Clove oil is used to reduce pain in an extraction socket if there is a breakdown of the blood clot, leaving inflamed bone.  If you use it now, you will be affecting the blood clot and that can lead to the bone inflammation and that is extremely painful.  It is a little soon to begin warm salt water rinses, but since you are pregnant and cannot take stronger pain meds, I would suggest warm salt water rinses for 1-2 minutes, 4-5 times a day to encourage drainage from the infection and a reduction in the pain.  That is my suggestion.  Again, do not use oil of clove or problems have a greater chance of occurring.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon 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.

Experience

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

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

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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