Having your wisdom teeth removed is a common and often necessary procedure for many young adults. But the recovery process after your surgery can be difficult, with sore throat being one of the most common side effects. Many will experience discomfort and difficulty in eating, drinking and even talking. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to alleviate the discomfort and promote healing.
In this article, we will explore the causes of sore throat after wisdom teeth removal, as well as some tips to help manage the pain and promote recovery. If you’re experiencing a sore throat after wisdom teeth removal, keep reading to learn more about what you can do to feel better!
Reasons For Sore Throat
Sore throat is a common side effect that many experience after their wisdom teeth removal. However, many do not understand why they are experiencing it. There are several reasons why you may experience a sore throat after the surgery.
Firstly, it may due to the swelling in your mouth and throat. During the surgery, an incision is made on the gumline to remove the wisdom teeth. This surgical procedure will cause inflammation in the gums, jawbone and the surrounding tissue. The inflammation will lead to swelling and pain in the area, hence causing a sore throat. The swelling usually peaks on the second or third day after the surgery and gradually subsides over the next few days.
Secondly, a sore throat can be caused by dryness in the mouth. Both local and general anesthesia can cause your mouth to dry out as it affects the salivary glands and depresses the production of saliva. It may also be caused by a reduction in fluid intake as you may be hesitant to consume fluid due to the pain and discomfort; this leads to dehydration and dryness in both the mouth and throat, thereby causing a sore throat.
Thirdly, the sore throat may be signs of an infection in the wound. An infection can be caused by numerous factors including a poor oral hygiene, smoking, and trauma to the surgical site. If you experience other symptoms such as fever or chills, contact your oral surgeon or dentist immediately. Prompt treatment is necessary to prevent any further complications.
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Last but not least, nerve damage caused during the procedure may have caused the sore throat. This is a rare complication but can occur in some cases. If your sore throat persists a week after your wisdom teeth removal, consult your dentist or oral surgeon immediately as it may be a sign that the nerves that controls the muscles in your throat was damaged during the surgery.
Treating the Sore Throat
While the soreness will eventually go away within the next day or two, there are several ways you can manage this discomfort and speed up the healing process.
- Drinking plenty of fluids. It is crucial that you stay hydrated as it helps to sooth your throat and prevent dehydration. Drink water or liquid like hot soup or a smoothie to relieve the discomfort and moisturize the mouth and throat.
- Have some cold food. Cold or frozen treats such as popsicles, ice cream, or yogurt work well to numb your throat and temporarily relieve the pain. However, avoid consuming too much processed food as they contain high amounts of sugar which can compromise your recovery.
- Use a humidifier in the room. A humidifier turns water into a cool mist that disperses into your room, helping to moisten the air. This can helps to soothe the throat and speed up the recovery of your sore throat.
- Gargle with warm salt water. Mix a teaspoon of salt with warm water and gargle in your mouth for 30 seconds. Do this 3 to 5 times a day to kill bacteria in your mouth and, reduce swelling and promote healing of your sore throat.
- Take pain medication: After the removal of your wisdom teeth removal surgery, you will be given over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Whenever possible, avoid opioid medications as they can cause side effects such as dry mouth, dizziness, nausea and in some cases, physical dependence.
- Apply hot compress. Wrap a warm towel or a heating pad around the neck to soothe the pain.
- Have plenty of rest. This may be self-explanatory but it needs to be emphasized. You must get enough rest for your body to recover not only from the surgery but also the sore throat.
In general, the pain and discomfort after your wisdom teeth removal should peak in 72 hours and gradually subside within a week or two. During the first two weeks after the surgery, you should take then necessary steps to alleviate the pain and speed up the recovery of your wound and sore throat. This includes drinking of fluid, use of pain medication, gargling of warm salt water, and having plenty of rest.
If the sore throat persists or worsens, or if you experience other symptoms like difficulty breathing, fever, or severe pain, these could be signs of a more serious complication and may require immediate medical attention. Contact your oral surgeon or dentist immediately as they can help to identify the cause and recommend the additional treatments to manage the symptoms.