What are the possible wisdom teeth removal complications?

Whether it’s a simple or complex extraction, there is sometimes no getting around a wisdom tooth extraction. This surgery can sometimes also result in more or less serious complications, depending on the case.

In this article, Clinique MFML‘s team of maxillofacial surgeons give you an overview of what happens after a wisdom teeth removal and outlines some of the complications that may arise after the procedure.


One of the most common wisdom teeth removal complications is the appearance of blood after the procedure, no matter the surgical technique used.

After a tooth extraction, the resulting gap fills with blood and forms a blood clot. Depending on the case, some blood may leak out of this gap, which is normal. This bleeding may continue for 2 to 3 days after the wisdom teeth removal.

What to do

To control bleeding from a wisdom teeth removal, wet 2 gauze pads and roll them into a ball. Place the pads on the area that is bleeding. Finally, bite the gauze pads firmly and hold for about 20 minutes.

This should help control bleeding.

What not do to

Refrain from talking and chewing the gauze pads during use and do not touch the wound with your fingers or tongue. For 48 hours after the tooth extraction, do not drink through a straw and do not smoke. These actions may trigger additional bleeding.

If heavy bleeding does not improve, contact your maxillofacial surgeon right away.


Some swelling on the cheeks, chin, neck and lips is also likely to occur after a wisdom teeth removal.

This swelling is completely normal and usually appears 24 hours after the operation. The swelling usually reaches its peak 48 to 72 hours after the wisdom teeth are extracted. Normally, the swelling will disappear about 1 week after the procedure.

Its intensity is proportional to the trauma suffered. It can therefore vary greatly from one patient to another.

What to do

To reduce swelling after a wisdom teeth removal, apply ice to the swollen area for 20 minutes. Repeat as needed, pausing for some time between intervals to avoid frostbite.

Pain and throbbing

Another possible wisdom teeth removal complication is pain and throbbing, which is normal and even inevitable as the anesthetic wears off.

The pain and throbbing usually peaks 6 hours after surgery and may last a few days.

Once again, the pain and throbbing will vary from one person to another depending on the nature of the surgery. For example, the extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth may cause more pain and throbbing than the extraction of a non-impacted wisdom tooth.

What to do

Your maxillofacial surgeon will provide you with a list of postoperative instructions following your wisdom teeth removal. It is important that you follow these instructions, especially in terms of the prescribed medication.

Your surgeon may recommend that you take an analgesic to treat the pain and throbbing.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are also likely to occur after wisdom teeth extraction, usually 24 to 72 hours after the operation.

This can be caused by intravenous sedation, medication or having swallowed blood during the operation.

What to do

Eat properly, as these phenomena sometimes occur in patients on an empty stomach. Read our article on foods to eat after a wisdom teeth removal to know what you should eat and avoid.

Contact your maxillofacial surgeon immediately if you think your medication is causing the nausea and vomiting.

Generally, nausea and vomiting should not last more than 24 hours.

Dry socket

Dry socket is a wisdom teeth removal complication that takes the form of radiating pain from the jaw to the ear. This may occur following the procedure.

Dry socket can last from several days to a few weeks and occurs right at the surgery location, after the initial pain caused by the surgery has subsided. It may require clinical intervention.

Infections, which are another wisdom teeth removal complication, are sometimes confused with dry sockets.

Difficulty opening your mouth

You may have difficulty opening your mouth properly after a wisdom teeth removal. This complication is related to the amount of swelling present. It can also be caused by the level of pressure on the temporomandibular joint during the procedure.

Typically, everything should return to normal within a few days after the extraction. If you experience discomfort and pain after this period, contact your maxillofacial surgeon.


Another possible wisdom teeth extraction complication is an infection. Infections may occur from a few days to a few weeks after the procedure, even with antibiotics.

Consulting your maxillofacial surgeon is then necessary for a proper assessment of the situation.

Wisdom teeth removal at Clinique MFML

Those were the main wisdom teeth removal complications that may occur after the procedure.

If you need to have your wisdom teeth removed and you have any fears or concerns, we suggest that you speak with your maxillofacial surgeon.

For more information on the world of maxillofacial surgery, visit our blog. We regularly post articles that are sure to interest you.

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