Why am I coughing after wisdom teeth removal?

After undergoing wisdom teeth removal surgery, you may experience coughing as one of the side effects. Coughing can occur due to various reasons related to the surgery and the recovery process. Understanding why you may be coughing after wisdom teeth removal will help you manage this symptom effectively and ensure a smoother recovery.

1. Anesthesia-related coughing

During the wisdom teeth removal procedure, anesthesia is administered to numb the area and keep you comfortable. Anesthesia can temporarily affect the functioning of your respiratory system, leading to coughing. The coughing may be a reflex response to the anesthesia or caused by irritation to the airways. It usually subsides as the anesthesia wears off, but if the cough persists, it is advisable to consult your oral surgeon.

2. Positioning during surgery

The position in which you are placed during the wisdom teeth removal procedure can also contribute to coughing. When you lie on your back for an extended period, the saliva or blood may accumulate in the mouth or throat, triggering a cough reflex. This can be managed by regularly spitting out excessive saliva or blood and keeping your mouth clean and moist.

3. Post-operative swelling and irritation

After the removal of wisdom teeth, your gums and surrounding tissues may swell and become inflamed. The swelling can irritate the airways and lead to coughing. This is a normal part of the healing process, and it should gradually subside as your body recovers. Using over-the-counter pain relievers and applying cold compresses can help reduce swelling and alleviate coughing.

4. Dry mouth and throat

Following wisdom teeth removal, many patients experience dry mouth and throat due to reduced saliva production or breathing through the mouth. Dryness can cause throat irritation and trigger a cough. To prevent this, drink plenty of water and use saliva substitutes or moisturizing mouth sprays. Additionally, avoid smoking and consuming alcohol as they can further exacerbate dryness.

5. Medications and painkillers

In the post-operative phase, you may be prescribed various medications, including painkillers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Some of these medications can cause dry cough as a side effect. If you suspect that your cough is related to any prescribed medication, consult your oral surgeon or pharmacist for alternative options or remedies to alleviate the cough.

In conclusion, coughing after wisdom teeth removal can have various underlying causes, such as anesthesia-related effects, post-operative positioning, swelling and irritation, dry mouth and throat, and certain medications. While some coughing is normal during the recovery process, persistent or severe coughing should be evaluated by your oral surgeon to ensure proper healing and address any complications. By understanding the reasons behind coughing after wisdom teeth removal and taking appropriate measures, you can effectively manage this symptom and promote a smoother recovery.