3 Medications That May Cause Post-Extraction Complications

If you are facing wisdom teeth removal, you can rest assured that your post-operative recovery period will probably be very uneventful. But, while complications are rare, they can occur. For example, certain health conditions such as suppressed immune function can heighten your risk for infection after a tooth extraction; however, a course of antibiotics will usually help stave off infection in people with this condition.

Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, can also raise the risk for complications following wisdom teeth removal. Here are three medications that may lead to problems after dental extractions and what you can do about it:


If you take aspirin on a daily basis to manage chronic pain or to reduce your risk for a stroke, blood clot, or a heart attack, your blood platelets may be less sticky than someone who avoids aspirin products altogether. Aspirin decreases platelet aggregation, and because of this, you may experience prolonged bleeding after a dental procedure.

Not only might you bleed more and longer after getting your wisdom teeth removed, but simple dental procedures such as routine cleanings may also ignite a bleeding episode. Bleeding upon probing is a common dental finding, and when this happens, your hygienist or dentist may ask you if you take aspirin or other anticoagulants.

To prevent excessive or prolonged bleeding after oral surgery, your dentist may recommend that you stop taking aspirin for about a week or so before your procedure. If your physician has prescribed aspirin because you have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, do not abruptly stop taking it without getting proper medical clearance. 

Anti-Seizure Drugs

Certain drugs used in the treatment of seizures can lead to a condition known as drug-induced gingival overgrowth. Also known as gum hyperplasia, this can cause your gums to enlarge and grow over your teeth, and in some cases, between the spaces of your teeth.

Gum overgrowth can also cause gum sensitivity, inflammation, and easy bleeding. If you take anti-seizure medication and notice that your gums look abnormal, your dentist may recommend that you make an appointment with a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in diagnosing and treating gum disease.

If your gum overgrowth still persists despite periodontal treatment, your physician may discontinue your current anti-epileptic drug and prescribe a different one less likely to cause gum problems. Gum overgrowth can promote severe bleeding after oral surgery, so if possible, seek treatment for your gum problems before undergoing a wisdom tooth extraction. 


Antihistamines are used to manage the sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose that allergies commonly cause. They are also the active ingredient in some motion sickness medications and sleep aids. While effective in treating allergies, dizziness, nausea, and insomnia, antihistamines can dry out your mucus membranes, including those of your oral cavity.

After oral surgery, if your mouth is persistently too dry from taking antihistamines, your risk for infection may rise. Adequate salivary flow is important to help wash away infection-causing oral bacteria, and when you don't have enough saliva in your mouth, microorganisms can accumulate and cause an infection at your extraction site. If you take antihistamines on a daily basis, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water to help wash away bacteria.

Make sure that you do not swish water around your mouth after surgery so that you don't dislodge the protective clot that has formed over your surgical site. Doing so can cause excessive bleeding and pain and further increase your risk for infection. 

If you take any of the above medications, tell your oral surgeon prior to scheduling your wisdom tooth extraction. The more your surgeon knows about the medications you take, the better prepared the dental staff will be in anticipating post-operative complications. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://accentdentalnwi.com/.​