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Had lower right wisdom tooth extracted, was on augmentin. Unable to open mouth fully. How long will it take ?

I have had lower right wisdom tooth extracted two weeks ago. I had to take augmentin for infection also for last four days. Right now I am not able to open my mouth more than two fingers. The dentist had advised me to try to increase opening my mouth by using increasing numbers of icecream sticks. Is it advisable? How long does it take to recover and what is the line of treatment? AAAA
Asked On : Mon, 3 Dec 2012
Answers:  3 Views:  444
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Dentist 's  Response
Difficulty in mouth opening can occur after wisdom teeth extraction due to muscle trismus. TMJ dysfunction may also rarely occur after wisdom tooth extraction and can lead to difficulty in mouth opening. In case of muscle Trismus, patient is advised to stretch his mouth. In stretching of mouth you don’t have to wide open the mouth but open the mouth till pain is there and don’t go beyond that. If you can easily put your 3 fingers in mouth that means the opening is normal and if it is less then you have to try to open more and more gradually till you are able to put 3 fingers in the mouth.TMJ dysfunction after teeth extraction is unusual and temporary and to treat condition, heat therapy, anti-inflammatory meds and splint therapy can be given. You can continue with warm saline rinses for faster healing to take place. Keep tooth extraction socket area clean to avoid any secondary infections. It may take 3 weeks to 3 months for complete healing of wisdom tooth extraction socket to take place depending on method of teeth extraction and trauma to supporting tissues during tooth extraction. If mouth opening doesn’t seem to get better, then you can visit your oral surgeon for evaluation.
Answered: Tue, 4 Dec 2012
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Dentist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Dr. Chaithanyaa Nemaly's  Response
Wisdom tooth removal is a minor oral surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia most of the times. Swelling and limited mouth opening are a part of surgical procedure. Mouth opening and swelling is directly proportional to the amount of surgical insult caused to the soft tissues and bone, in particular. Limited mouth opening is seen in few patients only for a period of 5-6 days. Any mouth restriction beyond 10days, one has to suspect any infection or injury to the muscles around the area of injection. It has to be treated by antibiotics and analgesics if required along with vigorous physiotherapy in the form of mouth opening exercises. Consult a Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon for further diagnosis and management.
Answered: Mon, 3 Dec 2012
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Dentist Dr. Chris Herman's  Response
What you are experiencing is completely normal. After wisdom tooth extractions there is a lot of inflammation. The inflammation can affect the ligaments of your temporal mandibular joint. This is sometimes caused from the injections given to numb the area before the extractions or from the procedure itself. Regardless, using ice cream sticks to slowly increase your maximum opening is OK to do and will help. I would recommend some warm compresses to the joint area on both sides. This will increase blood flow to the area and sooth any muscle tension. You should be able to open more and more each day and become more comfortable as the surgical sites heal. Sometimes in cases where a patient is unable to increase their opening to pre-operative measurements, I recommend they see a physical therapist that specializes in TMJ therapy.

Good Luck,
Answered: Tue, 4 Dec 2012
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