What we call wisdom teeth are actually “third molars”, meaning those molars that usually appear in the jaw between ages 16 and 24, though sometimes they appear as late as the early 30s.
Unfortunately, when molars do finally try to break through your jaw and gums there is rarely enough room for them to fully come through. And while 65% of the general population has molars, some 85% of those teeth eventually require extraction.
At Smart Smile Dental, we are experts in assessing and treating wisdom teeth, from explaining the special care of them at home, to extraction if they become dangerous to your dental health.
How Wisdom Teeth can “Go Bad”
You may develop wisdom tooth issues for several reasons :
- Your jaw isn’t spacious enough. Your wisdom teeth may become impacted (basically, stuck) in your jaw and not be able to break through your gums.
- In some cases your wisdom teeth can only emerge partway due to lack of room. This can result in gum tissue growing over them. The resulting flap of gums can trap food and cause gum infection.
- Wisdom teeth come in at bad angles or rotated in the wrong direction.
- Wisdom teeth may emerge too far back in your mouth or so crowded that you have difficulty in keeping them, and the area around them, clean.
- A cyst may form.
These problems can lead to the following symptoms:
- Pain or jaw stiffness near the tooth.
- An infected swelling in the flap of gum tissue on top of an impacted tooth.
- Tooth decay or gum disease if there isn’t enough room to properly clean the area.
Before removing wisdom teeth, you receive a comprehensive consultation to review your condition and form the best plan for extraction.
Your next appointment will be the removal procedure. You will need a responsible adult to drive you to and from the appointment, if you choose to undergo IV anaesthesia. First, your dentist will administer anaesthesia. Next, if removing an impacted tooth, a small amount of gum tissue and bone will be lifted to make a path for extraction.
Your dentist will then remove the tooth and suture the surgical site. Your tooth may be broken into smaller pieces, which makes it easier to remove a larger tooth with a smaller surgical site. After removing all of your wisdom teeth, you rest until you wake up from anaesthesia, and your driver brings you home.
Recovery takes from five to seven days, with the gum area fully healing in about three to four weeks.
During the first 24 hours after removal, you can expect some bleeding. To control bleeding, a moist, clean piece of gauze can be placed over the extraction site. Biting pressure applied for 45 minutes should stop the bleeding. If it does not, contact us at Smart Smile Dental
Stitches may be used during your procedure. If the stitches are not self-dissolving, they will need to be removed postoperatively.
Facial swelling can also occur. Wrap ice in a cloth and apply it to the swollen facial area for 10 minutes and remove for 20 minutes. This cycle can be repeated as often as necessary during the first 24 hours following removal.
For pain and discomfort, over the counter or prescription medications may be used. Antibiotics also may be prescribed prior to the procedure to clear any infections of the tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth.
Post-extraction, follow these recommendations:
- Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours.
- Stick to a soft or liquid diet, gradually moving to eating other easy-to-chew foods. Chew with teeth that are far from the extraction site.
- Brush and floss the other teeth as usual, but avoid the teeth and gum next to the extraction socket.
- After the first 24 hours, gently rinse the socket with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water) after meals and before bed. Repeat this process for at least five days following extraction.
Wisdom teeth can also suffer from general issues all teeth have and these can be treated with good oral hygiene, regular visits to your Smart Smile Dental dentist, or dental sealants to protect their fissures from cavities.
Your Trusted Dentist in Deer Park
To enhance the overall look of your teeth as well as your overall dental health, visit your Deer Park dentist at Smart Smile Dental and let us help you have anxiety-free dental care! At Smart Smile Dental experience the benefits of a healthy and good-looking for your lifetime!