An erupting wisdom tooth can be a scary scenario at any age. Rest easy, however, as this situation is all too common and is definitely something that an experienced dentist can handle. While wisdom teeth aren’t the worst dental emergencies that can occur, they can still cause an infection or create other problems if not properly treated.
If you’ve been feeling any discomfort caused by a wisdom tooth (or teeth) breaching your gums or are feeling pain or jaw stiffness near an impacted tooth, contact your family dentist at Heroes Dental to schedule a wisdom tooth removal session. Our dental care team will make sure you receive the most painless treatment possible, and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible, so you can get back to enjoying life.
Below you’ll find some basic information regarding wisdom teeth and the removal process.
1. What are wisdom teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that tend to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Since they start growing at such a late stage into your teenage years, they may cause your other teeth to shift out of place due to the lack of space in your mouth.
2. How can I tell if I even have wisdom teeth?
A consultation with one of our dentists here at Heroes Dental would be your best bet at finding—if present—their current position through the use of X-rays. With x-rays, our dentists will have the ability to track their positioning and alignment periodically.
3. Do I really need to remove my wisdom teeth?
This depends. More often than not, wisdom teeth don’t grow in properly, and because of that, it causes oral and dental problems. Other times they may grow out perfectly fine with no gum damage or infection and no teeth displacement.
In other cases, wisdom teeth won’t erupt from your gums. Even if this happens, you aren’t necessarily out of the woods yet. Sometimes, a wisdom tooth can grow impacted— grow into a position where it is trapped — cutting off blood flow to a nearby molar and cause tooth loss and/or serious infection.
Ultimately, an oral examination is ideal to see if your wisdom teeth are indeed present, and if they are properly aligned.
If left untreated, wisdom teeth can be a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause pericoronitis, an infection of gum tissue around the wisdom tooth.Around 10 million #wisdom teeth are removed each year in the U.S. #HeroesDental #FunFacts Click To Tweet
4. When would be the best time to remove them?
Taking preemptive measures is ideal when removing wisdom teeth, and the best time to get them removed is before the root has fully formed. This makes wisdom teeth easier to extract and enables the area to heal faster.
In any case, wisdom teeth should be removed before any type of infection sets in or any inflammation happens. As you get older, the extraction may be a little more difficult because the teeth have finished developing, causing possible complications and a slower healing process.Wisdom #teeth removal is best before any serious infections or inflammation occurs. #HeroesDental Click To Tweet
5. What can I expect when getting my wisdom teeth removed?
To do the procedure, the patient is placed under general anesthesia, then the gum is opened up, and the wisdom tooth is removed by section. If the tooth is really impacted, some jawbone may have to be removed.
As for the recovery process, it only lasts a few days, though patients may experience some tenderness and pain in the mouth. There is likely to be bleeding as well as the small incisions heal. Generally, painkillers are prescribed to reduce pain and swelling.
While you are in recovery, make sure you:
- Gently bite down on the gauze pad that is provided for you after leaving the dentist office.
- Stay upright as much as possible.
- Use ice packs when necessary.
- Eat soft foods for a while after the extraction, and avoid using straws as they slow down the healing process.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
Take Advantage of the Services Heroes Dental Provides for Patients Like You.
Don’t wait until you get an infection near your wisdom teeth. Doing so will only make the procedure more difficult to perform and slow down your healing process.