Oral surgery is a dentistry specialty that deals with diagnosing and treating injuries, diseases and defects that affect the head, teeth, gums, mouth, jaws and neck. Often this involves surgery, which can usually be accomplished on an outpatient basis. Oral surgeons perform corrective surgery on jaws, remove wisdom and broken teeth, and perform bone grafts. Wisdom teeth work is quite common because these are the last set of teeth to develop. Often these teeth fail to emerge properly and become impacted between the gum tissue and jaw. This can cause pain, infection and damage to surrounding teeth the underlying bone and gums. Cysts or tumors can develop and damage parts of the jaw. That is why it is important to have impacted wisdom teeth removed. Other teeth can become impacted as well and cause all of the same kinds of problems.
Many dental surgical procedures can be performed with a shot of Novocain in the gums and roof of the mouth, which numbs the gums. You feel pressure during the surgery, but no pain. Others elect to use laughing gas. With either laughing gas or Novocain, you will remain awake throughout the process. You can, however, choose to be put to sleep under anesthesia. Those electing to use anesthesia describe their experience in similar ways. The nurse puts the mask over your face and has you count backwards from 10 or 100. You only remember a few numbers and then you are being wakened. At first you are a little disoriented, but you remember nothing about the surgery itself.
After oral surgery you can expect some pain and swelling when the numbness fades away. The amount of the pain depends on the type of surgery. The swelling will start to go down after the second day. You may have difficulty chewing for up to a week afterwards and you also may develop a sore throat. You may find that your ears ache after surgery and you can also feel pain in other teeth. This is normal and is called referred pain. It is a temporary condition.
You should keep your lips moistened with cream or ointment of some kind because your lips or the corners of your moth may become chapped and cracked. If you have a socket where a tooth was removed, after 24 hours you should rinse it regularly with warm salt water. You may notice a bad taste in your mouth and a distinct odor. This will fade away as new tissue builds up in the socket.