Most of our mouths are meant to hold 28 teeth. However, by the time most of us reach our late teens/early 20s, we have 32 teeth. The last 4 teeth to form are known as your wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, due to problems with alignment or a lack of room, these teeth do not generally come in properly. In these cases, it may be necessary to have one or more of your wisdom teeth removed.
Why Your Wisdom Teeth May Need to be Removed
Although the procedure is very common, not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth removed in their lifetime. Your dentist will perform an oral exam and take x-rays of your mouth to determine your needs. Wisdom teeth are removed either to correct an existing problem or to prevent any future related issues. Some of these problems include:
• If your jaw is not big enough, they may become impacted, which means they are unable to push through the gum.
• Your wisdom teeth may start to break through the gum, creating a flap of gum tissue. Bacteria and food particles can get trapped inside the flap, causing pain and swelling (signs of infection).
• You can develop an infection or a cyst because of your wisdom teeth.
• Your wisdom teeth may cause damage to surrounding teeth.
• One or more of your teeth can grow at an awkward angle, which can cause problems with crowding, damage to other teeth, and pain.
How a Wisdom Tooth Extraction Works
Before your surgery, we will provide you with a form of sedation to help calm your nerves and relax you. This will eliminate pain and put you to sleep through the procedure.
We will use a local anesthetic to numb your mouth so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. Then, we’ll make an incision to remove one or more of your wisdom teeth, and then stitch the holes back up.
What to Expect After the Procedure
After the extraction, you may have pain/swelling in your gums, jaws, and where the teeth were removed. We will prescribe a painkiller to help you manage the pain. You will likely experience bleeding, which may last up to 24 hours. As the anesthetic wears off, your mouth and lips may remain numb or a few hours.
For the next few days, you’ll need to relax, eat soft foods, and avoid sucking through a straw or smoking. You’ll need to gently rinse out your mouth, concentrating on the surgery sites, with warm salt water.
If you have any questions about wisdom tooth extraction or would like to schedule your next appointment with us, contact Dental Innovations today!