What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to develop and appear in your mouth. They usually emerge in their late teens or early twenties.
Why do Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems?
Wisdom teeth can cause problems if there isn’t enough space for them to surface or if they come through in the wrong position. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, they can cause symptoms like pain, infection, and gum disease.
Understanding Wisdom Teeth
The Development of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last to develop in the mouth. They usually begin to emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people never develop wisdom teeth, while others have up to four – one in each corner of the mouth.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Causes and Symptoms
Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there is not enough room in the mouth for the teeth to grow normally. They can grow at various angles in the jaw, sometimes even horizontally. Symptoms may include:
- Pain or discomfort
- Swelling around the jaw
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Difficulty opening your mouth
Consequences of Not Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to several problems, such as:
- Damage to other teeth: If the wisdom tooth pushes against the second molar, it may damage the second molar or increase the risk of infection in that area.
- Cysts: The wisdom tooth develops in a sac within the jaw. The sac can fill with fluid, forming a cyst that can damage the jaw, teeth, and nerves.
- Decay: Partially erupted wisdom teeth are more prone to tooth decay than other teeth.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
The wisdom teeth removal procedure involves:
- A dentist or oral surgeon will apply local anesthesia to numb the area where the tooth will be removed.
- If the tooth is impacted, the dentist or oral surgeon will cut into your gums and bone to remove it.
- The tooth may be cut into smaller parts to make it easier to remove.
- After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time, and some need to be removed after a few days.
Is it painful to have wisdom teeth removed?
The removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure and is generally not painful because it is performed under anesthesia. You may feel pressure or a tugging sensation during the procedure, but not pain. After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort or swelling, which can be managed with prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication.
What is the recovery process like after wisdom teeth removal?
Recovery from wisdom teeth removal typically takes a few days. You can expect some swelling and discomfort, which can be managed with ice packs and pain medication. It’s recommended to rest and avoid strenuous activity for a few days. Soft foods are recommended initially, gradually returning to your normal diet as healing progresses.
What are some home remedies for wisdom tooth pain?
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water
Applying a cold compress to the affected area
Over-the-counter pain relievers
Over-the-counter topical numbing gels or ointment
The Role of Oral Surgeons in Wisdom Teeth Removal
Oral surgeons specialize in the extraction of wisdom teeth. They have extensive training and experience in managing complex cases, such as impacted wisdom teeth or teeth with unusual positioning. They are also qualified to administer all types of anesthesia, ensuring the comfort of patients during the procedure.
Tips for Fast Recovery After Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Here are some tips for a fast recovery after wisdom teeth surgery:
- Follow the post-operative instructions provided by your oral surgeon
- Rest and avoid strenuous activities for a few days
- Apply ice packs to the affected area to reduce swelling
- Maintain a diet of soft foods and plenty of fluids
- Practice good oral hygiene, but avoid brushing at the surgical site for the first 24 hours
When is Wisdom Teeth Removal not necessary?
Wisdom teeth removal is not necessary for everyone. If your wisdom teeth are healthy, fully erupted, positioned correctly, and can be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices, they may not need to be removed. However, regular check-ups and X-rays are necessary to monitor for potential problems.
Experiencing wisdom tooth pain or discomfort? Don’t wait for complications to arise. Schedule an appointment with our expert oral surgeons at Levantine Dental Clinic today for a thorough examination and personalized treatment plan. Your oral health is our priority.