Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that grow in the back of your mouth. Most people get these in their late teens or early twenties. However, these teeth are valuable asset to the mouth if properly aligned, but mostly they are misaligned and must be removed. They are examined through X-rays and CT-scan.
Your dentist may tell you to get your wisdom teeth extracted to prevent problems that may come up in the future. Most people have them removed for one of the following reasons:
- They are impacted. They are unable to break through your gums, which can be painful.
- Your jaw is not large enough for them. Your jaw might be too small to accommodate an extra set of molars.
- They may erupt in a crooked orientation. They may cause damage to other teeth or jaw.
- They are not fully erupted. It can increase the risk of a bacterial infection or in severe conditions, a cyst may develop.
- You have a gum disease or cavities. Since wisdom teeth grow so far back in your mouth, you may not be able to clean them with floss or a toothbrush.
The Extraction Procedure
Wisdom tooth extraction is an-in office surgery that can be performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist. The treatment starts by anesthetizing you with a local anesthetic to keep you from experiencing any pain. A general anesthetic may be used if multiple teeth are extracted at the same time.
To remove the wisdom teeth, the gum tissue at the extraction site will be opened and any bone covering the tooth will be taken out. Your dentist will gently remove the tooth. Once the extraction is complete, you may need some stitches to aid with the healing. Some stitches may dissolve over time while some have to removed after a few days.
What To Expect After Surgery
The recovery period after the extraction lasts only a few days. To speed up the recovery follow the tips below:
- Control bleeding by biting on a gauze pad, changing them as needed.
- Elevate your head on pillows rather than being flat.
- Use an ice pack on your cheek to reduce the swelling.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt to relieve discomfort.
- Eat soft foods for a few days.