Not So Common Side Effects After Oral Surgery

Not So Common Side Effects After Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is a form of dentistry that deals with and treats a wide variety of diseases and injuries in and around the mouth. Oral surgeons perform everything from tooth extraction to reconstructive surgery and everything in between, including bone grafts, dental implants and treatment for TMJ disorders.

All surgical procedures have some common side effects, including pain, swelling and some bleeding. There are also a few not so common side effects.


Localized infections at the surgical site are rare, but they can happen. Your risk of infection due to oral surgery is rare, as your oral surgeon and his team take all precautions to prevent bacterial contamination. And if you follow your surgeon’s instructions after surgery (such as taking antibiotics and using antibiotic rinses), you can prevent infection at home. If you notice severe pain and swelling that won’t go away, and you develop a fever, you should contact your surgeon’s office right away.


Nerve damage can occur as a result of anesthesia or the removal of a tooth from the lower jaw (particularly a wisdom tooth). When a nerve is damaged, you may experience numbness in your tongue, gums, lip and/or chin. Known as paresthesia, this numbness can persist for several months. In even rarer instances, it can be permanent.


Dental implants involve the surgical placement of titanium rods in the jawbone. In rare cases, implants in the back of the upper jaw may go into the sinus cavity, which can then lead to sinus infections. The implants may also fail. Sinus infections can also be caused as a result of an extracted tooth opening the cavity. In the case of an infection, antibiotics are often prescribed and you may need a separate surgery to close the cavity.


Jaw fractures are extremely rare, but they can occur as the result of a tooth removal procedure or happen in the days following surgery during normal jaw activities. In the event of a fracture, you will most likely require another surgery to fix it.

If you experience any unusual side effects after your oral surgery that your surgeon has not warned you about, it is important to contact our office right away to avoid more serious complications.

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