Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

Age brings wisdom, but in dentistry, age usually brings wisdom teeth. When your teeth come in correctly, your wisdom teeth are healthy and useful. Unfortunately, there are many problems with wisdom teeth. For example, you may need your wisdom teeth extracted if your jaw isn’t big enough, if your teeth grow in sideways, or only partially erupt.

It’s usually a good idea to extract your tooth when:

  • The tooth only emerges partially. This can leave a space around the tooth where bacteria can grow and cause an infection, illness, swelling, or stiffness.
  • Your wisdom tooth could damage your other teeth if nearby teeth are damaged.
  • A cyst forms and injured teeth roots and bones.

You can ask your dentist about your wisdom teeth during a cleaning to see if it will possible require removal. If you have pain, swelling, or tenderness, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with a dentist. They will be able to determine the severity of your situation and decide whether or not your wisdom tooth should be removed. Your dentist may schedule an appointment t remove all of your wisdom teeth at once.

Luckily, extractions are a relatively simple procedure. Your dentist will numb the area and carefully remove the tooth. If necessary, the area may be stitched together. If your wisdom tooth is not completely visible, you dentist may pull back your gums to have better access. Once the extraction is complete, you’ll need to bite down on a piece of gauze for about half an hour to stop the bleeding.

After your extraction, your dentist will advise you to eat only soft and cool foods, and to avoid smoking, spitting, and drinking out of a straw until you begin to heal. You may rinse with warm water to keep your injury clean. Any swelling you should experience should subside with a few days.

Usually, your stitches will dissolve on their own, but occasionally your dentist will need to remove them. Over-the-counter pain medications may be useful for easing discomfort after your extraction, but your dentist may decide to prescribe you painkillers. Generally, healthy individuals will not need to worry about an infection. If you have any questions about wisdom tooth extractions or about your recovery, please contact your dentist.