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Anxiety after extraction



Apr 19, 2020
Hi, I'm new on here due to sky rocketing anxiety after extraction and am in need of a little extra support. I am someone who had major dental anxiety from age 5 onwards due to a traumatic dental experience but have managed to overcome a lot in the past 5-6 years having it all corrected. I've had othro, root canals, extractions, grafting and implants placed and for the most part, felt I had conquered my phobias.

However, 12 days ago I got an emergency appointment with my dentist for #30 tooth. It has been a troublesome tooth off and on for several years, had a crown on it and in Oct last year I had a root canal. At the beginning of March it started to hurt again, was hot and cold sensitive and I was prescribed amoxicillin 500mg for 7 days. The pain did not increase nor decrease so my dentist had me go in for a visit. I had good margins all the way around except for one area which had a deep 6-7 pocket and the dentist suspected a cracked root.

Under normal circumstances I'd have gone to an oral surgeon to have an extra eval and the tooth extraction but I opted to have it pulled right then and there due to my anxiety levels and wanting to limit my chances of covid exposure going from one office to another. I also trust this dentist, she pulled my wisdom teeth without issue in the past.

The procedure went pretty straight forward, maybe a little more tugging than I expected, she also grafted the area for later implant. The socket itself seems to have healed over nicely without issue, she used disolvable stitches so I could avoid a return visit. (I have a child who is high risk from covid so I'm really a little over the top avoiding contact right now.) I only needed ibuprofen and Tylenol for 24 hrs afterwards.

12 days post procedure I have huge anxiety again. I have a red area on the inside of the gum towards the tongue about 5-6 mm in diameter with a white 3-4 mm circle at the bottom of it. It's tender but not painful as such. (Hard to get a picture of it). From reading this forum I realize it may be a bone spicule (I have been in touch with my dentist via texts and she said it's likely that) and was hoping someone with experience could let me know if they agree and if it's likely to work its way back out? As long as the pain is manageable is it safe to let nature take its course?

Secondly, my gum on the cheek side is inflamed and almost purple in color. I still have some jaw pain (like 2-3 on the pain scale) and it runs up into my ear. It's intermittent but I don't recall having this discomfort 5 days ago, but then again I'm aware anxiety may be drawing extra attention to it. I have no apparent swelling, no fever, some mild throbbing when my heart rate gets up and some mild hot/cold sensitivity. Is this normal for 12 days post extraction? My dentist believes so and reassures me nothing looks infected but I'm struggling to remain calm.

I've posted pictures, they're not ideal but hopefully they help a bit. Thank you for any information or thoughts. I'm so glad you are all here at this time.


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I did not have any bone spicules, but I had that exact same tooth removed by my dentist (when I also usually go to the oral surgeon). I had grafting as well. It took a lot longer to heal for me as well. My gums were sore for almost two weeks and I had intermittent dull pain. It did heal and I got an implant put in about four months later. I didn’t have the same trouble with tooth 31, which I had extracted four months prior.
Thank you for your reply MountainMama. It's reassuring to know you healed up and are all better. :)
Thank you for your reply MountainMama. It's reassuring to know you healed up and are all better. :)
I understand your anxiety. I fretted over mine since it didn’t heal the same way the other extraction did. I had issues with the gums being sore and even went in a few times to have the dentist look at it and he kept telling me it was fine.
That looks like it's healing up nicely. If you get lucky, the boney spicule will work it's way to the surface soon.
Jaw pain heading into your ear sounds more like TMJ strain, to be expected if the dentist had to lean on your jaw a bit during the extraction.
Thank you Gordon. I think I may have 2 spicules, a very small piece on the outside gum that I'm confident will work its way out and the larger piece on the inside which I'm a little less than confident will surface. It doesn't seem to be breaking through the gum so am nervous it's a repeat visit. How long is it okay to wait? What are the signs I can no longer wait? Pain level? Thanks. I'm 13 days post procedure.
Wait as long as you want, there's no harm in leaving it until it comes out or gets resorbed by the body as the socket heals.
Thanks Gordon. Woke up this morning with a bit more pain and figured out how to get better pictures. Just sent them to my dentist. Wondered if you think the redness is caused by potential spicule or if it's more infection looking? Or something else? I know it's hard to say perhaps just from a photo. Ty.


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Doesn't look like an infection, so most likely your spicule.
Well, I was quite sore yesterday and spoke with the dentist. She asked if what I considered to be bone was moving or if it felt attached. I said it was not moving so she had me go into the office today. It helped me feel a bit less anxious that she had not been in the office since my tooth was extracted two weeks ago. She did a quick assessment and said it was indeed bone and I had two options, could leave it and let it do it's resorption thing, which may take a while or let her make a small incision on each area and shave it down. Well, I was already there and in pain so we did the smoothing off. Had some local/gum anesthesia and did not feel anything during the procedure. It's been a couple of hours since and the pain is a little bit like a pizza burn (maybe a little more?) so just took two Tylenol and did a gentle salt water swish. I do hope that will be the end of the tooth saga.

Thought the update might be helpful to someone looking through these forums in the future.
The Tylenol wore off and it's actually feeling more painful than the extraction itself. I hope that isn't a bad sign? I took some ibuprofen just now and rinsed with warm salt water. Fingers crossed tomorrow is better.
That's a shame, it should settle down quite quickly now the bone has been smoothed off though.
The good news is the gum is healing nicely and the intense pain has alleviated. I'm still struggling with some intermittent jaw, face and ear pain. It's not unmanageable but is certainly a significant source of anxiety for me. I presume it's caused by some nerve inflammation or TMJ? Safe to wait and see how it goes? I'll be checking in with the dentist by phone tomorrow.
Hi Foofie, I just realised my post today is actually kind of similar to yours, so what you've posted above is helpful. You're so lucky your dentist had you in for treatment! Best of luck with your recovery!
Thanks Raku1. Took a look at your post and it does look similar to what I had. The good news is my dentist and the dentist on here both said it's fine to leave it to do its thing. I had mine treated as it was poking through the gum and wasn't likely to self heal for some time. And yes, I have been very fortunate to have a dentist see me, especially one who has not been open. I do hope this situation improves for everyone soon.
Thanks Foofie!! ❤ I wonder if this means I don't need more ABs? That would be nice!
That was my concern as well but the dentist told me that infection after tooth extraction is very rare.
Hi Foofie, I was just wondering what your dentist said about your jaw/face/ear pain? I've had some similar symptoms too, which I assumed were TMJ-related (that joint has always been a bit weak on me, after an operation long ago). Hope you're doing well and recovering nicely!
Hi Raku,

I'm probably not the best person to ask as my situation seems to have been very unusual! I've had to go back to the dentist twice in the past few days. She's treated me for what she's guessing late onset dry socket (which in her 20 years has not experienced and is slightly baffled by). After the spurs were filed down I felt ok for a short period then another one poked through, after she treated that one I started with bad pain. So she then treated the whole thing like dry socket, which was 2 days ago. I'm still in pain, back on antibiotics and just praying for some healing. Feel totally traumatized.

In hindsight, the bone spur pain was manageable but my anxiety was so high I felt I needed it treated when I wonder if perhaps the resorption would have occurred eventually and I could have skipped this whole saga. Who knows? Too late to dwell.

What's been helping me immensely through this time is a meditation app called Headspace. They have a course on pain management and on anxiety. Obviously if someone has significant pain it needs medical attention but if the pain is manageable and what's in your head is worse than what's in your body, I'd totally recommend giving it (or other meditation) a try.
Oh Foofie, I'm sorry to hear about the complications. Sending you all my most positive thoughts and kind wishes. It's good that you have a caring dentist. I've been able to speak to some nice kind ones here, and it always makes me feel better and less alone in this process. Thanks for the recommendation on Headspace, I'll definitely check it out. Wishing you the speediest recovery!