Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure used to remove the third and final set of molars, also known as “third molars”.
The procedure is performed in order to reduce the potential for pain, infection or other complications that they can cause.
This post will discuss what wisdom teeth are, why they are sometimes removed, and how to prepare for and care for yourself after having your wisdom teeth extracted.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. They are also sometimes referred to as “third molars”.
Wisdom teeth can cause several different problems, including growing in at an angle or becoming impacted (stuck) beneath the gums.
Sometimes they don’t even have enough space to emerge in the mouth, causing pain, infection and other complications.
Generally, wisdom teeth are removed because there is not enough room for them in the mouth.
Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Problems
Symptoms of wisdom tooth problems can vary depending on the individual and how impacted their teeth are.
Common symptoms include pain, tenderness and swelling in the back of the mouth; difficulties when trying to bite or chew; jaw stiffness or soreness, headaches; facial swelling; bad breath; and formation of a cyst near the impacted tooth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to visit your dentist for an evaluation as soon as possible to determine if wisdom teeth extraction is necessary.
Reasons for Extracting Wisdom Teeth
There are several reasons why wisdom teeth may be extracted, including the overcrowding of the jaw, insufficient space for the teeth to erupt correctly and causing other teeth to become shifted.
Wisdom teeth can also cause pain or infection when impacted, or if they partially emerge from the gum line but don’t break through fully. In some cases, extraction may be necessary to prevent future problems with neighboring teeth or a person’s bite.
Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Before having wisdom teeth extraction, your dentist may advise you to take certain precautions. This may include filling any existing cavities, taking antibiotics before and after the procedure, avoiding smoking, quitting or reducing the use of any blood thinning medication, and eating light meals on the day of the operation.
Your dentist can provide detailed instructions on how to prepare for wisdom teeth extraction.
Post-Operative Care After Wisdom Tooth Removal
After having wisdom teeth extraction, it is important to take proper care of the area to promote healing.
This may involve limiting physical activities as much as possible, avoiding hot foods and liquids, gently cleaning the area with a saltwater rinse several times a day and using an ice pack to reduce swelling.
Your dentist may also suggest taking over-the-counter pain relievers or applying a mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and half water directly to the site.
Potential Complications of Wisdom Teeth Removal
Although wisdom tooth removal is a relatively safe procedure, there are potential risks and complications that can arise, such as bleeding, infection, damage to other teeth and jawbones, dry socket and nerve injury.
In rare cases, jaw cysts or tumors may occur when wisdom teeth are extracted. It is important to speak with your dentist prior to the procedure to ensure that you understand all the potential risks and complications.
Knowing the basics about wisdom tooth removal is essential in order to make an informed decision on whether or not it is a necessary procedure.
It is important to speak with your dentist prior to surgery and be aware of potential risks and complications.
Taking proper post-operative care can help reduce the risks of infection and ensure that the extraction area heals properly.