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Oral Surgery/wisdom teeth extraction and migraine headaches


Dr. Teig,   My daughter age 15 1/2 had all four of her wisdom teeth extracted/ pull on 02/13/15. she immediately started having headaches the next day. my question is the headaches from the surgery.  She have never had headaches like this. the oral surgeon suggested we go to her primary care because it seem like she was having migraine ( it appears that light hurted her eyes and noise too).  I thought it was a dry socket but they said no.  we go for a follow up on 02/25/15.  we have tried every otc medicine. she is allergeric to the hydrocodone and the meperitab did not really help.  she complains the left side of the jar line hurts and it goes up to the temple. the right side of her mouth she has no complaints.( the top and bottom were impacted}.  the left side top was impacted and the bottom left was pull.  we have been using warm salt water since 02/15/15.  also do you think it is muscle spams from that jaw line. (although she complains sometimes about the light it is really that left jaw line she saids that bothers her alot)  or should we see a neroulogist.  will keep you posted on the follow-up.

Stacey -  Of course, without an examination of your daughter I cannot be completely sure, but from the symptoms you are describing, it sounds like she is suffering from jaw muscle spasms.  One of the main areas of jaw muscle spasms is the temple.  There are three main areas of jaw muscle attachments and probably the one that causes the most symptoms and problems is the temporalis muscle.  The muscle is attached to the lower jaw and into the temple region.  From your description, it sounds like the problem is mostly on the left side.  

From the extraction of wisdom teeth, it is not uncommon for the jaw muscles to go into spasm.  Besides a change in her diet to only soft foods, the salt water you mention is important.  The problem is that often the correct use of warm salt water is not addressed.  For your daughter, no warm compresses, cold  or heat to the outside of her jaw or the temple is important.  Rather, she needs to use warm salt water rinses.  She needs to use warm salt water rinses, placed on the back of her jaw behind the site where the lower and upper wisdom teeth were extracted on both sides at the same time.  She needs to do it for a minimum of 5 minutes, 4-5 times a day.  She should only have a very soft or liquid diet.  The doctor, rather than prescribing pain medication, should prescribe a very mild muscle relaxer (minimal side effects).  The medication that I have seen that produces the greatest effect in the shortest period of time is robaxin.  A 500 mg dose should be used every eight hours.  

Between the warm salt water placed to the back of the jaw on both sides, nothing to the outside of her face and the mild muscle relaxer, she should see an improvement within 5-7 days.  So at this time have her begin the warm salt water rinses with the rinses concentrating on the sides of the jaws back near the wisdom teeth and speak with her doctor for the mild muscle relaxer.

I hope my suggestions help.  Please let me know how she does with my suggestions.  If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


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.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at 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 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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