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Question
Left Side Wisdom Tooth
Left Side Wisdom Tooth  
Hello, I was wondering if it was normal to still have quite a bit of pain a week after wisdom teeth extractions? I had all four wisdom teeth removed and they were all impacted. Everything is healing nicely and there is no pain except for the left side in my bottom row of teeth.

First of all, there is a constant pain/throbbing in my jaw, but it is not quite unbearable. The pain even goes away for short periods of time, but it has been waking me up about once a night. Second, I have a really hard time biting down without pain in the lower jaw on that left side. It's difficult to chew my food well. Finally, I can taste a sort of fluid leaking from the extraction site that tastes sort of metallic-y.  

I've already went back to my oral surgeon once for a follow-up and he said that the left side was healing, and that the pain I was feeling was probably just jaw muscles trying to heal. He reassured me that I would be in horrible pain if it was a dry socket, but now I'm not so sure. At this point, I'm quite sick and tired of the constant, annoying, dull pain. I don't want to go back only to be told that it is still nothing. The photo I attached is of my left side that is causing me issues. Please help me decide if this truly is normal healing, or if I should go back in for a second follow-up and force my surgeon to take a second look.

Thanks in advance.

Answer
Callie - From your description of what you are experiencing since the extraction, it sounds like some inflammation exists in the area.  Is it an infection?  That I cannot determine without examining you, but the picture does not give an indication of swelling, which would be indicative of an infection.  

You should definitely get back to the surgeon to evaluate the area.  Sometimes small particles of food get trapped during the healing and that can produce a problem.  My suggestion in the interim before you see the surgeon, is to begin warm salt water rinses for about 3-4 minutes in that area for 4-5 times a day.  The rinses will not only help to clean the area, but it will also help to reduce inflammation.

So see the surgeon, start the rinses and if you still have questions, feel free to contact me again.

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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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