When should your wisdom teeth be removed?

When should your wisdom teeth be removed?

Why do you need to visit your dentist?

When should the wisdom teeth removed? Very often, the teeth may be misaligned either in a horizontal position, be angled towards or away from the second molars or angled inward or outward. Also, the poor alignment can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves. At times, the wisdom teeth can be impacted which means that they are enclosed within the soft tissue and /or the jawbone or partially erupt through the gums. This can cause an infection due to bacteria entering the tooth leading to pain, swelling and stiffness of the jaw. Also, the teeth are more prone to gum disease, cavity and tooth decay.

The third and final set of molars that you get in your late teens or early twenties is known as wisdom teeth. There are four wisdom teeth in the back of the mouth – top and bottom.

When should your wisdom teeth be removed?

Your dentist will take an x-ray to determine the position of the teeth in the jawbone and determine their removal based on the following:

  • Damage to other teeth: Push adjacent teeth causing mouth pain and bite problems.
  • Jaw damage: Cysts could form around the teeth damaging the jaw and nerves.
  • Sinus problems: can lead to sinus pain, pressure and congestion.
  • Inflamed gums.
  • Cavities: Swollen gums can create pockets between the teeth that lead to bacteria and cavities.
  • Alignment: Can cause other teeth to crowd and lead to extensive treatment to straighten other teeth.

What is the procedure for removal?

Before surgery:

    1. The oral surgeon will brief you about the procedure.
    2. Ensure that you list out the medication you take regularly, health problems if any,
    3. The type of anesthesia
    4. Post care details

During the surgery:

  1. Tooth extraction usually takes 45 minutes or less
  2. The surgeon based on your preference may give you one of the following – local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, IV sedation or general anesthesia
  3. The surgeon will put stitches after removal of the teeth and gauze pads inside the mouth.

After the surgery:

Post-operative care is very important to ensure that you follow the instructions carefully so as to prevent infection.

  • Diet: Eat only soft food and drink plenty of liquids. Avoid hot food and liquids.
  • Don’t chew on the side of the mouth where the teeth extraction has been done.
  • Use icepacks on the cheek to reduce swelling.
  • Keep the clean gauze inside your mouth to stop bleeding.
  • After the bleeding stops, remove gauze.
  • Also, brush very carefully after a day of the surgery.
  • Don’t use a drinking straw

It will take time for the mouth to heal completely. Until then, follow your doctor’s instructions.

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