Oral Surgery/Extraction


QUESTION: Hi. I currently have wisdom tooth pain. My tooth is still swollen but it wasn't as bad since Sunday and Monday. It was a shock of pain, the right side of my tongue was in pain to the point I could not feel my tongue, my whole right side of my jaw was in pain, at one point my whole cheek. Today it started to bother my upper teeth. It hurts when I swallow. I keep taking ibprophin. When the tooth is back to normal, do I need to get it pulled out? I've had swelling and pain in the past, but never this bad. It started Friday and it just got worse. Now it's not that bad.

ANSWER: Shari - from your description, it sounds like you have a spreading infection.  In that region, that can be very dangerous.  You need to see an oral surgeon to establish drainage of the infection and place you on antibiotics.  Do not waste time, this can become a major problem.

In the interim, until you see the surgeon, begin warm salt water rinses, in the area of the tooth.  Do it a minimum of 4-5 times a day for 5-10 minutes each time.  The warm salt water can often begin the drainage.  Very important, do not put heat or cold on the outside of your face.  

So start the rinses immediately and call and oral surgeon to drain the infection.  I wish you well and again, do this quickly before the infection spreads further.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi. I took some antibiotics. The swelling has gotten smaller. Do I need to get it pulled out so this doesn't happen again?

Shari - I hate to tell you this, but just because the swelling has reduced, it does not mean that the source of the problem has gotten better.  The antibiotics have not cured the problem.  It has just limited the effects causing swelling.

So the tooth itself needs to be removed.  So sorry to tell you this, but the only cure is to work directly on the tooth.

Oral Surgery

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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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