One of the many things the late teens and early twenties of a person’s life are known for is the growth of wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth are the upper and lower third and final molars, located at the very back of the mouth. Since these teeth erupt when the other 28 adult teeth are already in place, the jaw can turn out to be too small to provide enough space for the new teeth. That’s precisely why some wisdom teeth can emerge at an angle or get stuck. These wisdom teeth, known as impacted wisdom teeth, can cause pain and discomfort and lead to infections and serious damage to the neighboring tooth. So, if you are experiencing severe pain or discomfort from your wisdom teeth, you should definitely see a dentist.
Despite what many people think, impacted wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed. However, according to a large number of highly respected dentists in our country, most impacted wisdom teeth have to be extracted because food and bacteria can get trapped around their edge, leading to a build-up of plaque. Plaque, on the other hand, can cause dental caries (tooth decay), gum (periodontal) disease, pericoronitis, cellulitis, abscess, and cyst formation. All of these are the strongest reasons for having one’s impacted wisdom teeth removed.
In order to determine whether your troublesome wisdom teeth need to be removed or not, your dentist will review your dental history, take X-rays, and examine your overall oral health and the condition of your wisdom teeth. If they advise you to get your problematic wisdom teeth out, you should know how the wisdom tooth extraction procedure goes, what to expect after it, and what you should and shouldn’t do once your wisdom teeth are removed.
First of all, before the procedure begins, your dentist or the oral and maxillofacial surgeon will give you a local anesthetic injection in order to numb the area around the tooth. If all of your wisdom teeth are to be extracted at the same time, your dentist or oral surgeon will most likely use a general anesthetic which will send you to sleep. This means that you won’t feel a thing during the whole procedure. Once the procedure is finished, you will be either given a short amount of time to recover (if you have received local anesthesia) or taken to a recovery room (if you have been given general anesthesia).
If you don’t want to complicate things and prolong your recovery period, you should follow your dentist’s instructions. Not disturbing the wound, not smoking, not spitting or using a straw, biting gently, eating soft foods, and relaxing are are some of the most common tips that can help you recover faster.