Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars a person gets in their lifetime. The majority of patients experience wisdom tooth eruption between the ages of 16 and 20 when the bone is softer. It is advisable to undergo an extraction procedure before the age of 20 to minimize the risk of complications and discomfort. Typically, there is not enough room in the mouth for these large teeth, which means that they can cause some problems. While some patients do not notice anything wrong when their wisdom teeth come in, they should still talk to their dentist about what could happen down the line if they aren’t removed.
Wisdom Tooth Complications
- Crowding: When wisdom teeth erupt and there is insufficient room in the mouth to accommodate them, they can push other teeth together. Teeth can become displaced or crowded, making it difficult to clean between them properly. Crowding can also make the teeth noticeably crooked and cosmetically displeasing.
- Periodontal disease: Wisdom teeth can impede your ability to clean them and the surrounding teeth properly, which can result in periodontal disease. Impacted wisdom teeth produce an even higher risk of this condition because they expose the gums to bacteria and plaque accumulation.
- Infection: An infection caused by wisdom tooth complications is called pericoronitis. This condition is characterized by swollen and infected gums surrounding the third molars.
When to See Your Dentist
If your dentist has yet to talk to you about your wisdom teeth, there are some signs that may indicate that you need to remove them. Should you experience any of the following dental issues, it is recommended to contact your dentist to have your wisdom teeth examined:
- Dull or shooting pain
- Gum inflammation
- Tooth decay
- Difficulting chewing
The Extraction Process
Dentists usually perform surgical wisdom tooth extraction when they are impacted. Your dentist will appropriately sedate you to ensure total comfort and relaxation during your procedure. He will place a small incision in the gums to uncover the targeted tooth. Using forceps, your dentist can loosen and pull the tooth out. If necessary, the tooth may be broken into small pieces for easier removal. Dissolvable sutures are placed to close the incisions.
After your wisdom teeth extraction, you will have to regularly change your gauze and take medication as needed to manage pain. Getting plenty of rest and consuming a liquid or soft food diet during the initial stage of recovery will help speed up your healing process. Most patients eat pudding, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and broth-based soups until they feel comfortable enough to eat firmer foods. You will also be advised to avoid using straws because the suction can affect the healing of your incisions.
To find out if you are ready for wisdom tooth removal or to learn more about the extraction process, please contact Gentle Care Dentistry by calling (575) 524-3722.