Although it would be nice if wisdom teeth made us all wiser somehow, that’s really not the case. In fact, the likelihood that you’ll need to have wisdom teeth removal performed is fairly high.
Situated at the back of your mouth, they were nicknamed ‘wisdom teeth’ because they typically show up when you’re between seventeen and twenty-one. They are also the last adult teeth to grow in and round out your set of thirty-two.
Removing wisdom teeth comes with all kinds of question and we answer as many as possible below.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth being removed is much more common now because of the way we’ve evolved over many years. We no longer eat as much plant-based material, and consequently, no longer need an additional set of molars to grind up our food.
As such, one of the most common problems people have are impacted wisdom teeth. Essentially, the teeth don’t have enough space to come out of the mouth as they should.
What Are Some Symptoms and Precautions of Wisdom Teeth Removal
If these teeth are impacted, they may not even show symptoms, or there could be several symptoms that are a sign they need to be removed. These symptoms include pain, swollen and bleeding gums, swelling around the jaw, bad breath, headache or jaw ache, and an unpleasant taste when eating.
If there are any signs of disease or clear issues you’re suffering from, your wisdom teeth may also need to be removed in those cases as well.
Your dentist may remove your wisdom teeth as a precautionary measure as well. If unremoved, cysts could grow or your wisdom teeth could eat away at the roots of nearby teeth.
How Is a Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure Performed?
There are two types of procedures involving the removal of wisdom teeth. If the teeth have come in completely without being impacted your dentist will be able to remove them in their office.
They will likely numb your gums and then use a stronger numbing agent around the affected area of your wisdom teeth. Following that, they will loosen the teeth with a tool called an elevator, then pull out each tooth with dental forceps. Finally, they’ll clean out the tooth removal area and pack it with gauze to stop bleeding.
The second type of extraction involves oral surgery. Depending on the expertise of your dentist, they may perform this procedure themselves or they may refer you to an oral surgeon.
In either case, you’ll receive anesthetic that will make you sleepy so you won’t feel pain or remember much. They will then cut open the gum and remove the tooth bone to get to the root. They may need to cut your wisdom teeth into pieces to keep the holes in your gums as small as possible.
What Are Some Tips for Recovering From Wisdom Teeth Removal?
How you recover mainly depends on the type of surgery you received.
If your procedure was simple, you’ll probably have a little bleeding from your gums after your procedure. You may also feel sore and swollen for a few days which is totally normal. You may also experience some bruising which can take longer to go away.
Don’t brush your teeth for twenty-four hours after your operation though. After that, gently gargle with warm salt water every two hours for a week to keep your mouth disinfected.
If you needed to have surgery done it’s highly advisable you don’t drive yourself home. Get a lift from a friend or family member. Dealing with the pain from the operation may be treated with over-the-counter pain meds, or your surgeon may recommend prescription painkillers, especially if they took out any bone.
You should be okay to perform your regular duties the next day. To ease with pain and swelling we recommend the following:
- Hold a cold pack against your jaw to help with soreness and swelling.
- Try not to spit too much. That way you won’t reset the blood that’s clotting on your gums that’s keep the area from bleeding too much.
- Drink lots of water—definitely don’t consume any alcohol, hot drinks, or pop for twenty-four hours.
- You likely won’t be able to fully open your mouth for about a week. Stick to soft foods that won’t bother the affected areas.
Hopefully, we’ve answered some of your most pressing questions and your wisdom teeth removal goes smoothly if you need it.