WHAT IS WISDOM TEETH?
- Wisdom Teeth is the third and final set of molars on each side of the upper and lower jaws.
- They erupt in the people either in their late teens or early twenties.
- Sometimes these teeth can be seen as a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they are misaligned and require removal.
- In many individuals, the wisdom teeth aren’t visible because they have become impacted under the gingival tissue.
- Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves.
- Wisdom teeth can also be impacted – they are enclosed within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum.
- Partial eruption of the wisdom teeth allows an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness.
- Partially erupted teeth are more prone to tooth-decay and gum diseases because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.
- Your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend that your wisdom teeth should be extracted even before problems develop. This is done to avoid a more painful or more complicated extraction that might have to be done a few years later.
- Removal is easier in young people, when the wisdom teeth roots are not fully developed and the bone is less dense. In older people, recovery and healing time tend to be longer.
How Do I Know if I Have Wisdom Teeth?
- A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and then removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth.
- For a tooth in this situation, the tooth will be extracted in small sections rather than removed in one piece to minimize the amount of bone that needs to be removed to get the tooth out.
What Recovery is Involved After Wisdom Teeth Are Pulled?
- After having your wisdom teeth removed, the speed of your recovery depends on the degree of difficulty of the extraction.
- Bleeding may occur for several hours after tooth extraction. To control it, position a piece of clean moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly. Apply constant pressure for about 45 minutes.
- Repeat this process if a small degree of bleeding continues; if heavy bleeding continues to occur, contact your dentist or oral surgeon.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after tooth extraction, avoid “sucking” actions (for example, don’t drink beverages through straws or smoke) and avoid hot liquids (such as coffee or soup). These activities can dislodge the clot, causing a dry socket to develop.
- Facial swelling in the area where the tooth was extracted typically occurs. To minimize swelling, place a piece of ice, wrapped in a cloth, on that area of your face on a schedule of 10 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off. Repeat as necessary during this first 24-hour period.
- Pain medications, ibuprofen(Motrin or Advil), can be taken for minor pain.
- Antibiotics that may have been prescribed prior to tooth extraction and should continue to be taken until the full prescription is gone.
- Foods should be restricted to a liquid diet until all the numbness from anesthesia has worn off. Eat soft foods.
Contact a dentist who will be able to inform you about the condition of your erupting teeth – Dr. Shruti Malik at Radix Healthcare.