Wisdom teeth are renowned for being awkward as they are the very last teeth to emerge. These are your third molars that come through right at the back of your mouth. Most people get their wisdom teeth in their late teens or during their 20s. Sometimes these teeth will erupt perfectly normally and without any problems, but more often than not wisdom teeth are incorrectly aligned and need to be removed.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Cause so Many Problems?
Their late arrival is the real problem, as by this stage the rest of your teeth are firmly established in the jaw. Hopefully, every tooth is nicely aligned and is in just the right place. This leaves very little room for latecomers. As a result, wisdom teeth cannot erupt properly and may be misaligned or impacted.
Misaligned Wisdom Teeth
Misaligned wisdom teeth may be angled inwards towards the second molars, or outwards, or even horizontally. When wisdom teeth are poorly aligned in this way, they can overcrowd or damage the teeth next door to them, or even the jaw bone or nerves.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
An impacted wisdom tooth may try to come up underneath the adjacent tooth or it may partially erupt. When a wisdom tooth partially erupts, it can cause problems. This is because the tooth will be partly covered by gum tissue, allowing bacteria in the mouth to get into the gums and to the area around the tooth. A partially erupted wisdom tooth can easily become infected. As a result, you may experience pain or swelling around the tooth, as well as jaw stiffness and a general feeling of being unwell. Even if a partially erupted wisdom tooth doesn’t cause you problems, it is more prone towards tooth decay and gum disease. Its position right at the back of the mouth makes it very difficult to thoroughly brush and floss.
Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?
Most people have wisdom teeth and our local dentist here at Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry will keep a close eye on their development. We do this by taking x-rays every so often to check the position and alignment of your wisdom teeth. If it’s obvious they cannot erupt without causing problems, we will recommend they are extracted. Taking out wisdom teeth before problems develop can be beneficial in certain circumstances. Earlier tooth extractions can avoid the need for more painful or complicated wisdom tooth removals later on. Wisdom tooth extraction is easier in young people. This is because the tooth roots are not fully formed and the bone surrounding them is less dense. At this age, wisdom teeth are less likely to have become embedded in the bone. Recovery after their removal is often quicker and smoother than in older people.
Can My Local Dentist Take out My Wisdom Teeth?
If your wisdom teeth need to come out and their extraction is relatively straightforward, we can do it for you in our local dental office. When a wisdom tooth removal is likely to be more complicated, we may refer you to an oral surgeon. This will be a local dental specialist that we know and trust to look after you during oral surgery. They will ensure your wisdom teeth are extracted quickly and smoothly so that healing is as fast and as comfortable as possible.
What Should I Expect during a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Most straightforward wisdom teeth extractions can be completed under local anesthetic. If your tooth extraction is more complicated, additional sedation could be helpful. This is something we can discuss with you when planning your treatment. If the wisdom tooth is already fully erupted then its extraction is normally as easy as any other tooth.
Removing a Covered or Partially Erupted Wisdom Tooth
A wisdom tooth that is still underneath the gums and in the jawbone will need to be taken out in a slightly different way. To do this, we need to make an incision in the gum and into the bone covering up the wisdom tooth. In these circumstances, a wisdom tooth is often removed in several sections to make it easier to get out. There is no need to worry about having wisdom teeth removed as this is a very straightforward procedure. We practice very gentle dental care here at Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry. Our local dentist will make sure you are kept safe and comfortable at all times.
What to Expect Afterwards
If your wisdom teeth have been causing you a toothache or tooth pain, you should feel much more comfortable. Your recovery time will depend on the complexity of the extraction. During the first 24 hours after recovery you can expect the following symptoms:
• Facial swelling around the area where the tooth was extracted. An ice pack placed on the outside of your face can help to minimize swelling.
• Discomfort, which can be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers, or if necessary we can prescribe you something.
• Bleeding may occur for several hours after your wisdom tooth has been removed. Biting down on a clean piece of gauze and applying gentle pressure to the wound will help it to clot more easily. Another thing to try is a moist teabag as the tannins in tea help to form blood clots.
Other Helpful Hints
During this initial healing period, you may wish to stick to softer foods and it’s important not to fiddle with the extraction site. The blood clot that has formed in the empty socket will help the healing process and it’s important not to dislodge it. Make sure you brush around the extraction site very carefully to avoid disturbing the clot. If you smoke, it’s best to quit until the empty socket has healed as it does slow down the process. Avoid sucking through a straw as this action can dislodge the blood clot.
Can Anything Go Wrong with a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Most wisdom teeth extractions are completely uneventful, but there is one thing to be aware of. If the extraction site begins to hurt a few days afterward, then you might have something called dry socket. This can develop if the protective blood clot is dislodged. When this occurs the extraction site can become infected and will need to be cleaned out. Dry socket can be uncomfortable and will slow down healing, but it shouldn’t be serious.
If you are at all worried about your wisdom teeth removal then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our friendly dental team here at Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry is here to help you. We can answer any questions and if necessary will schedule an appointment for you to see our local dentist.
Are you worried about your wisdom teeth? Do you need a wisdom tooth extraction? Call Us Today on (828)-676-2144
Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry serves Avery’s Creek, Arden, Ashville, Oak Park, Fletcher, Royal Pines, Biltmore Park, Biltmore Forest, Bent Creek, Fairview, Beaverdam, Candler, Naples, Mills River, Enka Village, Woodside Hills and the Buncombe County area.
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