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Discomfort after dental work is common, but sometimes it can indicate problems that you should address immediately. Many people experience jaw pain after tooth extraction, which might make them panic. But before you assume the worse, let us explain why your jaw hurts after tooth removal in this blog.

What Causes Jaw Pain After Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction procedure involves pulling an affected tooth out before it can cause more problems. It is generally the last resort, but sometimes dentists go for it if the tooth is damaged beyond saving. However, the issues might not end there. You will need to revisit your dentist if you feel discomfort following your procedure, like an aching jaw. Reasons that you might feel jaw pain after a tooth extraction include:

1. Dry Socket

A blood clot forms after the extraction to protect the exposed tooth bone. Hence, keeping the blood clot from moving or dissolving is vital. If something dislodges the blood clot, a dry socket can occur.
Once a dry socket occurs, your tooth’s bone and nerve are exposed, leading to jaw pain that sometimes radiates to the ear. You will feel pain a couple of days after the procedure, with bad breath and a foul taste in your mouth. Moreover, you can get an infection unless you get immediate medical attention. Go to your dentist so they can clean the socket of any food debris and use a medical dressing to alleviate the pain.

2. Infection

Jaw pain might be a symptom of infection after tooth extraction. Your mouth is probably germ-free after the dental procedure, but any leftover or new bacteria can cause an infection and discomfort. Therefore, you need proper oral care, or you might expose your mouth to bacteria. Oral infections may develop in your gums, teeth, and jawbone.
Other than jaw pain, you might also experience:

  • Pain and swelling after one or two days of extraction
  • A throbbing sensation
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pus-pocket or oral abscess

Experiencing fever or chills and pain jaw after dental work like a tooth extraction might signify osteomyelitis, a bone infection. Thus, do not waste time contacting your dentist if you suspect infection.

3. Soreness in Muscles & Jaw

You might strain your jaw in procedures like root canals and extraction, as they require you to keep your mouth open for a long time. As a result, your muscles get sore, and you might experience jaw pain after extraction or any other dental procedure. You can ease the pain by applying cold or heat to the affected area.

Tooth Extraction Aftercare to Avoid Jaw Pain & Other Complications

Some aftercare tips to avoid jaw pain or other complications after tooth extraction are given below:

  • Don’t brush over the extraction site until your dentist says it is ok.
  • Twice or thrice daily, rinse the area with an antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • Take any medications your dentist prescribes on time and as they instruct you.
  • It is best to avoid strenuous activities unless your dentist tells you it is safe to continue.
  • Eat soft foods like rice, yogurt, eggs, etc.
  • Don’t sip through a straw, as it can dislodge your blood clot.

What Should I Do?

Discomfort or jaw pain after tooth extraction might signify dry socket, infection, or muscle soreness. Contact your dentist before the problem gets worse. You can also call our Gessner Smile Dentistry team at 713-858-8513 for an appointment.

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