The most common complication is dry socket. This is either loss or breakdown of the blood clot in the tooth socket. This results in throbbing of the teeth and jaw. The pain can spread to the ear. Treatment is rinsing the area with a saline solution and placing a soothing dressing. The socket will close in time.
Numbness of the lip, chin, teeth, gums and tongue can result from wisdom tooth removal. The nerve that provides feeling to these areas is often very close to the roots of wisdom teeth. Numbness is uncommon but can occur. The numbness may also feel like tingling or itching. Numbness is usually temporary, but can rarely be permanent. Steps are taken during the procedure to minimize the risk of injury to the nerve.
Infection is also uncommon but possible. Antibiotics may be given after surgery in certain situations to help reduce the chance of infection.
Root tips sometimes do break off during extraction of teeth and can be retained deep in the tooth socket. If a root tip is accessible it may be removed. If it is deep in the socket and not accessible, it is typically best to leave it in. When left alone, they rarely cause a problem.
Jaw fracture is a possible but rare complication of tooth removal. Steps are taken during the procedure to minimize this risk.
The sinus of the upper jaw is often very close to the roots of the upper molar teeth. Sometimes removal of upper molar teeth can cause an opening into the sinus. Surgical closure of the sinus opening is done at the time of tooth extraction.
Small bone chips or fragments can sometimes emerge from the tooth socket after extraction. The socket is always cleaned at the time of extraction of the tooth but small bone chips can occasionally occur.