The South African Dental Association (SADA) states that tooth extraction may be necessary when a tooth becomes infected, is damaged in an accident or causes excessive crowding in the patient's mouth. During the extraction process, a dentist removes the tooth from its bony socket in the upper or lower jaw, and the bone is left to heal.
While most extractions are safe and straightforward, complications can arise in some cases, including a bone infection after a tooth extraction. Here's what to look for if you are concerned about complications developing after your tooth extraction. If you experience any severe symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible.
Potential Complications Following Tooth Extraction
Dry SocketThe most common complication following the removal of a tooth is dry socket. This can occur when the blood clot that usually fills the void left by the extracted tooth fails to develop or becomes dislodged. Since the clot acts as a bandage within the mouth during healing, its absence can expose the nerves that reside in the bone and cause discomfort. If you notice that the bone in the socket is visible or if you experience severe pain in the days following extraction, see your dental professional immediately.
Infection in the MouthAnother potential complication following an extraction is the development of a dental infection. After any dental procedure, there's a chance of germs entering the body. Some key signs of an infection in the mouth include bad breath, a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, fever, sensitivity to hot and cold, and swelling or tenderness in the gums, neck or jaw.
By reporting any of these symptoms early on, you can get prompt treatment and decrease the chances of further issues developing after your extraction.
Bone Infection After a Tooth Extraction
Though it's highly uncommon, patients may develop a bone infection after tooth extraction. This condition is called osteomyelitis, and although it is rare, it can be very serious. Osteomyelitis can occur in the mouth when the open wound created from an extraction becomes contaminated and the infection spreads to the underlying bone. The symptoms of osteomyelitis are similar to those of other dental infections, including:
- Swelling or tenderness in the affected area
- Warmth or redness at the site.