Wisdom tooth, by hearing the name a sudden thought might bloom in your mind, the tremendous pain that it gives that can directly land you in the hospital. The unbearable situation arises when the wisdom tooth located at the very back of your mouth, doesn’t sprout out fully and is not positioned correctly creating a problematic situation for the opposite teeth.
Wisdom teeth removal is one of the common oral surgery procedures. It is often recommended as a preventative measure in order to protect your other teeth from future problems and preserve your oral health and keep it healthy. Recovery is usually quick after the surgery and most people can return to normal activities in just a few days.
Wisdom tooth remains, completely hidden under the gums, and if they are unable to emerge appropriately they tend to become trapped within your jaw. At times it can end up causing infection, or it can also cause a cyst that can lead to the dwindling of other teeth or the bones that support the teeth.
In some cases, wisdom teeth can end up causing oral health issues which include, overcrowding, impaction, and an increased risk of infection. Removing a wisdom tooth is not always required, but there are around half of all patients require at least one of their wisdom teeth to be extracted in order to prevent future problems. Now a question might arise in your mind when is the right time to remove your wisdom teeth? Well, keep on reading the article and you get to know the answer at the end.
There is a common belief that whenever the wisdom tooth erupts, it would require an extraction. But that is actually not the case, until and unless there is any kind of troublesome situation that bothers you should not think of pulling out your wisdom tooth. Some of the common problems that the wisdom tooth can easily cause are infections in the soft tissue behind the last teeth, cysts, tumours, by damaging the neighbouring teeth, tooth decay, and gum disease.
The removal of wisdom teeth involves the extraction of the impacted teeth by restoring the nearby damaged teeth that might have been affected. With the help of an X-ray, your dentist can confirm the positing and growth of the wisdom teeth and post that he would recommend whether there is a requirement of removing the teeth in order to prevent any future oral problems, and the health of other teeth. The most appropriate time to remove the wisdom tooth is especially during young adulthood when these molars are still healthy, as jawbones become harder with age and teeth tougher to remove. Now a question might arise in your mind how I would know whether I need to get my wisdom teeth removed? The answer to your question lies in the next paragraph.
How do I know if I need to get my wisdom teeth removed?
At times all four wisdom teeth erupt normally and this doesn’t cause any problems at all by being a completely normal thing. But sometimes wisdom teeth grow in at an angle or stay fully or partially trapped in the jawbone or under the gum tissues. When any such situation arises it can cause various problems and can also cause a range of problems. Then after knowing all this, your dentist would recommend a wisdom teeth extraction if you have the problems enlisted below:
- Have dental pain near the back of your mouth.
- Trap food and debris around your wisdom teeth.
- Developing gum diseases, particularly around your molars.
- Have tooth decay or cavities in a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
- Development of a cyst (fluid-filled sac) around one or more wisdom teeth.
- Have sustained damage to nearby teeth or the surrounding bone, which can easily lead to the dwindling of teeth.
While in most cases, healthcare providers recommend wisdom teeth extraction as a preventative measure in order to prevent any further oral health to create a problematic situations. As a result, your dentist may suggest the removal of your wisdom teeth even if you don’t have any symptoms. This can help reduce your risk for future problems, including infection and tooth decay.
When Not to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
The removal of wisdom teeth is an oral surgery that has become practically a rite of passage for young adults these days. But contrary to popular belief and what you’ve observed in many family and friends wisdom teeth removal is not always necessary.
This third set of molars typically develops anywhere between your teenage years to young adulthood. By then, we will have lost all of our baby teeth, and the adult set has taken its place permanently. For most people, this also means there isn’t room for any more teeth to grow, and that’s why the sudden eruption of wisdom teeth becomes a problem for them.
Still, there are instances wherein wisdom teeth don’t require removal, such as:
- Your wisdom teeth are healthy.
- They’re fully erupted or grown in completely.
- Positioned correctly and in line with opposing teeth, without affecting your bite
- They can be reached by a toothbrush and when flossing.
At what age should I have my wisdom teeth extracted?
There is no particular age during which you can remove your wisdom teeth because people of all ages can have their wisdom teeth removed. However, there are many dentists who recommend having them extracted in your late teens or early 20s because this is the safest age to do so. Because during this stage of development, your wisdom teeth are still forming and the process is going on. For this reason, they may be easier to remove with less risk of complications, and the process could be done smoothly.
The reasons why removing, a wisdom tooth is required:
- Damaging the nearby teeth:
The wisdom tooth can easily damage the nearby teeth, as your permanent teeth are already positioned in a fixed position. The extra force created by the sprouting of the molars can force your permanent teeth to shift their position. This in turn causes pain, bite problems, and overcrowding, which makes it difficult to brush and floss effectively and eventually thus leads to cavities or tooth decay. If the treatment gets delayed, you may also need to undergo additional procedures in order to straighten impacted neighboring teeth.
2. Damages to the jaw
First comes stiffness or pain, then before you know it, it can easily damage the jawbones, impacting the mouth’s function and motion. Like all teeth, wisdom teeth erupt from the jaws and through the gums, but this isn’t always the case, especially when there’s no space left around the other teeth.
Some wisdom teeth grow impacted within the jaw, shifting the other teeth and even the jawline. This can limit the opening of the mouth and cause pain when doing so. Cysts can also form along the newly erupted molars, which can hollow out the jaw bones and damage the nerves of neighboring, healthy teeth when left untreated.
3. Sinus problems
We know that the mouth and nose are intricately connected with each other, but did you know that the impacted wisdom teeth can easily affect the sinuses? Wisdom teeth removal is recommended when these molars’ growth causes sinus pain, pressure, and congestion. The maintenance of your Oral health is overall health, and your mouth is the mirror to your all-over health and that is why it is the vital thing to pay attention to any symptom or ailment that blooms.
4. Sensitivity and pain
A lot of patients only realize that their wisdom teeth are impacted when they experience pain, as because pain and sensitivity are common signs that create problems. But like any other dental problem, it starts from the very minute and is even virtually undetectable. Though this is not that very serious, you should not ignore any toothache, or even sensitivity and slight throbbing sensations that bothers you.
You need to pay attention whenever it occurs and if anything happens like this you need to contact the back of the mouth while you are eating or brushing, as because chances are there that your wisdom teeth have erupted. It won’t be long before it shows that they’re growing at an angle to the other teeth, impacting the jaws, or crowding neighboring teeth.
5. Inflamed gums
Oral health is not just only about teeth, gums play a huge role too and suffer through the impacted wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth erupt at an angle to the other teeth or horizontally, they can easily cause the gums to swell and this makes it hard to clean. Whenever this happens these reddish areas along the gum line often feel sore to the touch and cause pain, due to this reason it prevents proper brushing and flossing, which eventually leads to cavities and tooth decay.
How much time is required to recover from wisdom tooth removal?
Though most people are comfortable in three to four days, it can take a couple of weeks for your gums to completely heal. Your oral surgeon will provide you with detailed post-surgical instructions to keep you comfortable after the procedure is done.
What happens during wisdom teeth removal?
Once sedation medications have been given, your surgeon will administer local anesthesia to numb your teeth and gums so that you don’t feel much pain. Impacted wisdom teeth which are the wisdom teeth trapped in the gums or bone are exposed with incisions, giving your surgeon adequate access. Once the wisdom teeth are visible, your oral surgeon carefully loosens and lifts them from their sockets, then cleans the areas, and places stitches. In most cases, the stitches will fall out on their own in a few days and your gums will get back to the normal position.
How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
The relative ease at which your dentist or oral surgeon extracts out your wisdom teeth depends upon their position and stage of development. Your oral health care provider would be able to give you an idea of what to expect during your pre-extraction exam. A wisdom tooth that is fully bloomed through the gums can be extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, any wisdom tooth that has been underneath the gums and is embedded within the jawbone then it would require an incision into the gums and then the removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. Often, during a situation like this, the tooth will be extracted in small sections rather than it would be removed in one piece, this is done in order to minimize the amount of bone that needs to be removed to get the tooth out in a safer way.
When should I see my healthcare provider?
Most of the time, wisdom teeth extraction doesn’t cause major complications or problems. However, you should call your oral surgeon if you have:
- A fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Infection or coming out of one or more extraction sites.
- Heavy bleeding.
- Pain that doesn’t improve with medication.
- Swelling that worsens after three days.
- Facial numbness.
- Difficulties in swallowing or breathing.
- Blood or pus in nasal drainage.
What to eat after wisdom teeth removal?
Now that you have known what is the process involved in the extraction of the wisdom tooth, you should also know what you need to eat once your wisdom is removed.
You need to pump up your kitchen with soft food items such as pasta, rice, eggs, pudding, and yogurt. Other than this cool food items like ice cream can also help in soothing the surgical areas. You need to keep yourself at a bay from food items that are, crunchy and spicy because foods like these can easily irritate your tissues. Apart from following the foods that you need to avoid, and eat you should also avoid drinking through straws. Sucking foods from straws can dislodge blood clots, which are essential for the healing of your gums.
How long does wisdom teeth removal take?
Typically, the extraction of wisdom teeth takes about one hour or less than that. More complex cases may take longer, in order to complete the procedure.
What happens after wisdom teeth removal?
The extraction of wisdom teeth brings in milddiscomfort that is accompanied by slight bleeding and swelling. In order to keep the pain under control your oral surgeon will give you instructions for the management of wisdom teeth in order to ease the side effects that would create problems.
What are the advantages of wisdom teeth removal?
Though the extraction of wisdom teeth, gives a lot of pain there are various advantages too. The most significant being is that it helps in the reduction offuture oral health problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, damage to adjacent teeth, bone loss, and jaw damage. If you’ve already developed pain because of your wisdom teeth, then extraction can alleviate discomfort almost immediately and get you back on track to optimal oral health.
What are the risks or complications of wisdom teeth extraction?
Most of the time, wisdom teeth removal doesn’t result in long-term complications. In rare instances, people may develop:
- Infection: After the extraction of a wisdom tooth takes place, you can get an infection.This is more likely if you have a dry or empty socket and the area gets filled with food debris and bacteria. This in turn leads to infection, pain, and swelling too. The signs include higher temperature, yellowing or white discharge from the extraction site, and persistent pain and swelling.
- Dry socket: Dry socket is a common complication that occurs when either a blood clot has failed to form in the extracted tooth socket or else the blood clot that did form has been dislodged. Without clot formation, the healing will be delayed. When this situation happens, a dry socket typically occurs 3 or 4 days following the extraction and is accompanied by pain that ranges from moderate to severe and a foul mouth odor. Your dentist or oral surgeon will treat the dry socket by placing medication in the socket.
- Paresthesia: it is a rarer complication of wisdom teeth extraction. Wisdom teeth entrapped in the jawbone are often close to nerves. Sometimes these nerves can be bruised or damaged during the tooth removal process. The result is a numbness which is called paresthesia of the tongue, lip, or chin that can last a few days, weeks, months, or may even be permanent.
- Damage to other oral structures, includes the jawbone, nerves, sinuses, or nearby teeth.
- 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.
- Bleeding: 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. A moistened tea bag is an effective alternative.