Tag Archives: complications

Wisdom Teeth Extraction – What To Expect

Has your dentist recommended you have your wisdom teeth removed? You’re not alone, approximately 5 million Americans undergo the surgical removal of one or more wisdom teeth annually. These teeth commonly begin to grow or become problematic between the late teens and early twenties. So what can you expect from the procedure? What post-procedure complications may arise? What kind of post-care is necessary to help ensure a smooth recovery? Let’s take a look!

Why Do We Need To Lose These Teeth?

Common reasons for wisdom teeth removal are:

  • An impacted tooth (one that is partially trapped in the gums or blocked by another tooth and can’t fully erupt through). This can lead to infections as food can get trapped in the gums around partially showing wisdom tooth.
  • Wisdom teeth that are growing crooked or growing into another tooth need to be removed
  • Or teeth that are crowding the mouth and misaligning their ivory neighbors.

A dentist may also recommend wisdom tooth extraction as a preventative measure for a person suffering autoimmune issues, or those with gum conditions such as periodontitis who may have higher risk of experiencing infections or complications down the line if wisdom teeth remain.

How Will the Procedure Go Down?

Your dentist or oral surgeon will administer one of the following methods of sedation:

  1. Nitrous oxide (also known as ‘laughing gas’) via face-mask plus local anesthetic.
  2. Conscious sedation is a method whereby an IV containing various calmative medications which will partially sedate you but you will remain consciously oblivious throughout the procedure.
  3. General anesthetic – this method is not as commonly used for wisdom teeth extraction as it comes with more potential risks and side effects than the other two, but in some cases the person will be ‘put under’ using general anesthetic for their surgery.

Your surgeon will then proceed to open up the gums surrounded the target teeth, exposing the tooth and bone beneath. He or she will then divide the teeth into sections and remove them, finishing the procedure by cleaning out the site and stitching the area closed to heal.

What Post-Surgical Complications Can Arise?

Potential post-surgical risks of wisdom tooth extraction include:

  1. An infection may occur in the extraction site, marked by a white or yellow discharge, temperature and pain and swelling.
  2. Dry socket – happens when the blood clot that is forming to help protect and heal the site becomes dislodged, leaving the bone exposed. This condition can be very painful, sometimes causing throbbing up the jaw or even around the ear, it can also cause a bad taste or smell to emanate from the mouth.
  3. Nerve problems – a rare complication of wisdom tooth extraction is temporary or permanent nerve damage that may cause such symptoms as facial pain, tingling or numbness.
  4. Pieces of tooth left behind – in rare instances, a small piece of tooth may have been left in the extraction site. Sometimes these small parts work themselves out without problems, but sometimes a dentist may need to reopen the stitches and remove a leftover piece of tooth.
  5. Healing problems for those with health issues – people with chronic health or immunocompromising conditions may heal much slower with more pain, swelling or bleeding than others.

What is Recovery Like?

Everyone is different, so wisdom tooth extraction recovery is not one-size-fits-all, but most people will experience some degree of pain, swelling, bruising and minor bleeding in the days following the surgery. To learn more about what to watch out for, when to see the doctor, tips to help recovery and good foods to eat following your surgery, stay posted for our next blog “Tips to Help Ease Wisdom Teeth Extraction Recovery’. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Drowning – Harder To Spot Than You May Think

There are nearly 3500 fatal drownings annually, which works out to nearly 10 drowning deaths a day. Thousands more children and adults are hospitalized for near-drowning, often resulting in long-term complications such as brain damage. Sadly, many drowning deaths are preventable but unfortunately, most people don’t truly know how to recognize a drowning victim – it isn’t always as apparent as the movies will have you believe.

Drowning Isn’t Always Obvious

Drowning is a tragic and too-common swimming hazard that can be prevented and detected if people learn to recognize the real signs to look out for and necessary precautions to take. Largely because of Hollywood most people think a drowning victim will be easy to spot, flailing their arms wildly, screaming for help at the top of their lungs and thrashing about but that is most often not the case. Most people drown terrifyingly quietly, and don’t get the attention they need until it is too late. Over 700 children drown annually, and shockingly, over half of them will be within eyeshot of a parent or guardian who doesn’t even realize what is happening.

4 Quiet Signs of A Drowning Victim

It is important to know what to watch out for when it comes to spotting a drowning victim. Keep a close eye on any young children that are near water as it only takes a couple inches of water for a child to drown. Here are some of the less obvious signs someone is in aquatic respiratory distress:

  1. Silence – most often a person who is drowning cannot call for help because they can’t even catch a breath – if children who are usually vocal when playing go silent, investigate as to why.
  2. Stillness – drowning victims are often nearly paralyzed in one position while they are struggling to surface or breathe, sometimes they may flail their arms but if someone is seriously near-drowned they may not be moving at all. Look for a person still, maybe face down near the water with an upright posture, hands may be down by their side or out in front of them.
  3. Facing downward – a drowning person is often faced into the water, their hair may be obstructing their face, they may appear stuck in one position.
  4. Unresponsive – a drowning person may appear dazed. If you wave at them and they don’t respond at all, they may be drowning and not just spaced out – take immediate action.

These signs may not apply in all cases, some people may be splashing, or reaching their arms up high, if you see anything at all out of the ordinary when it comes to swimmers or children playing in the water, be sure to check it out.

Drowning Prevention

To prevent drowning, be sure to:

  • Encourage swimming lessons for all members of your family.
  • Have lifesaving floatation devices nearby whenever you are at the beach or swimming pool.
  • Put arm floatees on any small child who will be in or near the water.
  • Keep a close eye on children playing in the water or swimming (remember to look for the drowning signs we outlined above).
  • Follow all pool rules and make sure your children aren’t engaging in roughhousing or dangerous horseplay near the water.
  • Ensure every person riding in a recreational boat or jet-ski is wearing a properly fitting life jacket and knows how to swim in case the boat capsizes.
  • Learn CPR and general first aid and teach all the members of your family so you can assist in case someone nearby ever begins to drown.

That concludes our swimming safety features. We hope you enjoy safe swimming this summer! Thanks for visiting DocChat.