Wisdom Teeth Complications

When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, there can be some complications. Though they are not all too common, patients may experience things such as a dry socket, infections, swelling, numbness, and other complications. Learn what could be in store for you and how to avoid it below.

Dry Socket

Dry socket is the most common complication when it comes to wisdom teeth removal. This occurs when the tooth socket has not formed a blood clot or the blood clot that was formed was dislodged. A blood clot is necessary for healing. When a dry socket occurs, it can delay healing. You will usually know 3-4 days after the extraction is dry socket is a problem. Symptoms include moderate to severe pain and a bad odor. If you think you may have a dry socket, contact your dentist or oral surgeon for some medication.


Paresthesia is a complication that occurs when wisdom teeth extraction causes nearby nerves to be bruised or damaged, resulting in loss of feeling in the tongue, lip, or chin. This numbness can last days, weeks, months, or permanently. Paresthesia is a rare complication. It is more common with impacted wisdom teeth but can happen with non-impacted as well.


Because wisdom tooth extraction leaves a few gaping holes in your mouth, an infection can occur. It’s important to form blood clots to cover the sockets and be gentle on your mouth while it heals. Signs of infection include yellow or white discharge from the extraction site, persistent pain, swelling, and a warm feeling near the extraction site. Infections usually accompany dry socket but can be caused by other sources too.

Other Side Effects

Wisdom teeth removal can have its drawbacks. Most surgeries go off without a hitch, but recovery may seem some struggles. Other side effects of wisdom teeth extraction include:

  • Teeth root fragments left behind after extraction
  • A fracture in the jaw if a portion of bone needed to be removed to access impacted teeth.
  • Damage to adjacent teeth—especially if the wisdom teeth are extracted.
  • General risks of anesthesia, including stroke and heart attack.
  • Numbness or pins and needles sensation in cheek, tongue, or lip.  
  • Need for stitches of potential infections in the extraction area.
  • Delayed healing if the extraction site is aggravated, this is especially common if the patent smokes.

With proper care and a good oral surgeon, most of these complications are very rare. Contact us are Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah for a consultation! Our experienced surgeons and staff are dedicated to ensuring that your wisdom tooth removal process is as comfortable as possible.