When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

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What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth or Impacted Tooth

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Serious problems can develop from partially impacted teeth that are your wisdom teeth, such as pain, infection, and crowding of, or damage to, adjacent teeth and even caries. For totally impacted teeth (wisdom teeth), more serious problems can occur such as (dental abscess, bad breath, canker/cold sores, bulimia nervosa, and tooth decay) if the sac that surrounds the impacted tooth (wisdom teeth) fills with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst.

Most people start getting their wisdom teeth (also called the third molar) when they reach their late teens or early twenties. In many cases, the jaws are not large enough to accommodate these teeth and they remain under the gum (impacted tooth).

When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Each year, some 10 million wisdom teeth are removed, or extracted, in the U.S. A. No one can tell you when your impacted molar will cause trouble, but trouble will probably arise. When it does, the circumstances can be much more painful and the teeth can be more complicated to treat. An early visit to a dentist or clinic we prevent the complication of your wisdom teeth.

The key to timely attention to third molars (wisdom teeth) is regular x-rays of the mouth. With the help of these pictures, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon can frequently predict if the wisdom teeth are going to cause trouble, either in the near future or later in life. If so, chances are the oral and maxillofacial surgeon will recommend their removal rather than wait for trouble to occur.

Possible dental Problems Later

Your dentist can suggest you take the tooth out if he/she think it might cause a problem later in the future for preventive measures, such as:

  • Before your tooth erupts, the sack of tissue around it can grow into a dental cyst, which can lead to bone loss in your jaw.
  • If the tooth is upside down under your gum, it can cause a problem to the nearby teeth by destroying the roots.
  • Harmful Bacteria and plaque can build up around a tooth that’s only partly out.

The Next Step

Make an appointment to see a dentist or your family dental care, or a member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He can determine if your wisdom teeth pose any threat to your health and if they require extraction.

Easy extraction

The process becomes much easier if the tooth is almost in. If it has come in completely, your dentist can remove it easily. They may numb your gums, then use a needle to put a stronger numbing medicine in the area. They’ll loosen the tooth with a tool called an elevator, then pull the tooth with dental forceps, which look like pliers. They’ll clean out the area and pack it with gauze to stop bleeding.

 What to expect after you extract your wisdom teeth

You may notice little bleeding on the first day.  Also, sore and swollen gum and cheek for a few days. It takes some time for Any bruises to go away. You must not brush your teeth for a day. After that, use warm water solution with salt to gently gargle every 2 hours for a week.

Surgical Extraction of your wisdom teeth

Oral surgeon specializes in this area and they normally deal with this procedure. Although many dentists can perform the surgery too. Your surgeon might remove your tooth is still below the gum line. During the operation, you’ll be given medicine that we make you calm and won’t feel pain and you may even feel sleepy.  Your surgeon will cut open below the gum line and cut off the tooth bone to get to the root. They may need to cut the tooth into smaller part to prevent a big hole.

After Surgery

It is often necessary if your close relative is there to drive you home or take a cab because you may be groggy from the medicine. You can manage your pain with over-the-counter drugs, or your dentist can prescribe painkillers, especially if they took out any bone.

Take care of your self

You should be able to get back to your normal activities the next day. To speed the healing and ease any pain, you might:

  • Use a cold compress pack against your jaw to help with soreness and swelling.
  • Don’t talk too much or spit too much so you won’t move the blood clot that’s keeping the area from bleeding.
  • Drink more water and avoid alcohol, hot foods for 24 hours.
  • You may not be able to open your mouth very well for like a week. Stick to soft foods that won’t bother the area.

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Other Possible Problems After wisdom teeth extraction 

It’s rare, but Your surgeon might damage some nerve while removing the lower teeth.  These can affect your lips, tongue and chin permanently numb. If it is the upper teeth, the surgery can damage your sinuses, your air-breathing cavities under your eyes. If your blood clot goes away too soon and exposes your nerves and bone, that can lead to a painful condition called dry socket. That can happen with both simple and surgical extractions.

 When is the right time to see your dentist 

Talk to your dentist or surgeon right away if:

  • If you can’t breathe it swallows very well. You have a hard time breathing or swallowing.
  • Blood won’t stop coming out after a day or two, or pain lasts more than a week.
  • Your swollen jaw or face don’t go down after a few days.
  • You have a Sudden onset of fever
  • You notice a foul odor or pus coming out.
  • You feel numbness

RELATED READING

 

SOURCES

American Dental Association: “Wisdom Teeth,” “Tooth Eruption: The Permanent Teeth.”

Mayo Clinic: “Impacted Teeth,” “Wisdom Tooth Extraction.”

American Journal of Public Health: “The Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: A Public Health Hazard.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Do Your Wisdom Teeth Really Have to Come Out?”

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: “Wisdom Teeth Management,” “Management of Third Molar Teeth,” “Supporting Information to the Management of Patients with Third Molar Teeth.”

Center for Young Women’s Health: “Dental Health: Braces and Wisdom Teeth.”

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: “What is the Risk of Future Extractions of Asymptomatic Third Molars? A Systematic Review.”

KidsHealth: “Your Teeth.”

UC Santa Barbara: “Are wisdom teeth vestigial structures?”

BMJ Clinical Evidence: “Impacted wisdom teeth.”

Hopkins Medicine: “Wisdom Teeth Extraction.”

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Children.”

University of California San Francisco Medical Center: “Impacted Wisdom Teeth Recovery.”

Akron Facial and Cosmetic Surgery Center

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