Wisdom teeth removal can be a stressful and uncomfortable experience for some people. With the procedure comes many unpleasant side effects including swelling, sharp pain, and nausea. In extreme cases, the nausea and vomiting can be worse than the actual surgery itself.
This article will explore the causes of nausea and vomiting following wisdom teeth removal, as well as potential treatments and preventive measures. It is important to understand why certain symptoms may occur so that you can be prepared if they do happen.
Reasons for Nausea After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Nausea can be a result of several factors, from the anaesthesia to the trauma incurred during surgery. Here are some reasons why you may be feeling nauseous following your wisdom teeth extraction.
Firstly, post-operation nausea could be due to the anaesthetic drug used during the procedure. These drugs have been known to cause side effects such as vomiting and nausea, and may last for up to 48 hours after your operation. That said, the nausea should go away in 4 to 6 hours after surgery. Additionally, some patients experience dry heaving, or retching without actually throwing up. This can contribute to the feeling of uneasiness and discomfort in the stomach area, causing nausea.
Secondly, dehydration may lead to nausea or vomiting. Patients who have difficulty swallowing after their wisdom teeth removal often experience dehydration. When this happens, one can feel nausea because the body does not have enough fluid to send to other parts of the body.
Thirdly, nausea may simply be caused by stress and anxiety. The anticipation of the removal of one’s wisdom tooth removal as well as the recovery process can be an overwhelming experience. For some, it can lead to can cause stress and anxiety, which can contribute to feelings of nausea.
Last but not least, it may be due to dry socket (alveolar osteitis). The complication occurs when the blood clot that is formed to fill up the ‘hole’ of the removed teeth is dislodged or removed. As a result, the bone and nerve are exposed, causing a range of symptoms including persistent pain, bad breath, foul taste and nausea. That said, dry socket occurs in only 2-5% of patients who have their tooth pulled out.
Can Throwing Up Cause Dry Socket?
Yes, throwing up after wisdom teeth removal can cause dry socket. This is due to the fact that the blood clot may not be fully lodged in the socket. As a result, the regurgitation of food or liquid from the stomach can ‘wash’ the blood clot away. Additionally, the stomach acid present in vomit can irritate the extraction site and further disrupt the healing process.
It is important for you to consult your dentist if dry socket occurs as it may lead to further complications such as a slower healing of your wound and in some cases, bone infection.
Stopping Nausea After Wisdom Teeth Removal
While this is a common occurrence after wisdom teeth removal, there are many ways one can reduce or prevent it from happening:
- Drink plenty of fluids post-operation to prevent dehydration.
- Stop consuming your narcotic pain medication. Nausea that persists days after your wisdom tooth removal may be due to the pain medication. Instead, take ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve the pain. Wait for your nausea subsides before you continue taking your prescribed medicine.
- Consume anti-nausea medicine such as dimenhydrinate (brand name: Dramamine) and meclizine hydrochloride (brand name: Dramamine Less Drowsy). These medications work in different way to treat nausea.
- Avoid food that are spicy, greasy, or high in fat, as these can be harder to digest and may worsen nausea.
- Consume small and frequent meals instead of three meals a day. This helps to lighten the ‘workload’ of your stomach after every meal.
- Avoid strenuous activity and give your body time to rest from the surgery.
It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-surgery care to reduce the risk of complications and promote healing. In all situation, the nausea should subside within a day after the surgery. Please consult your local dentist if the nausea becomes severe or persists 24 hours after the operation as it may be indication of something more serious such as an infection.