Wisdom teeth, also known as your third molars, most frequently erupt (break through the gum line) in your late teens or early twenties. However, this isn’t true for everyone. Some individuals will have wisdom teeth that never break through the gum (impacted). Other people may have wisdom teeth erupt when they are older. Still, others will have wisdom teeth that break through the gum, but don’t crowd your mouth or impact the alignment of your teeth and therefore won’t need to be removed. But roughly five million Americans will need to have these third molars removed each year. If you’re one of them, read on for what to know about the process, and how long it will take to recover from wisdom teeth removal.
Why do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
If your dentist has recommended wisdom tooth removal, it is for one of several reasons. First, the teeth may be impacted. This happens when the teeth are so far back in your mouth, they are unable to come in normally. They will essentially be trapped in your gums or jawbone leading to pain and potential infections.
Wisdom teeth may also need to be pulled if your mouth isn’t big enough to allow for another set of molars. If your wisdom teeth erupt at an angle, they can press on your other teeth, causing pain and misalignment of teeth (which may have already been straightened with braces).
If your wisdom teeth come in normally, and your mouth is large enough to accommodate them, without pressing on other teeth, there is no need for extraction.
What happens during wisdom teeth removal?
As with any tooth extraction, you will be given some form of anesthetic. You may only need a local anesthetic if your wisdom teeth have already come all the way in. If your wisdom teeth are partially or wholly impacted you may receive a local anesthetic, along with nitrous oxide (AKA laughing gas) to keep you relaxed or allow you to sleep. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you will either be sedated with an IV or a mask so that you are asleep during the procedure.
Your gums may need to be cut to fully extract wisdom teeth. If so, once the teeth are removed, you’ll be sutured, with dissolvable stitches. Once the extraction is complete, you may wake up with gauze or pads in your mouth to absorb blood loss.
Depending upon the type of sedation or anesthesia, you may feel groggy in the hours after your procedure. You may also experience pain and swelling in the days following the extraction. Pain relievers, along with icing your jaw can help to alleviate swelling and discomfort.
Tips for Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Removal
Your dentist will provide detailed aftercare instructions to you, based on the type of procedure you underwent to remove your wisdom teeth. Irrespective of whether the teeth were through the gumline, or impacted be sure to follow all post-surgical instructions including:
- Avoid using a straw
- Avoid smoking or vaping
- Avoid all alcohol including mouthwash containing alcohol
- Avoid brushing near the extraction site
- Avoid hard, chewy foods
- Avoid spicy, acidic foods
- Avoid foods with seeds and nuts
Wisdom Teeth Removal at Bellissimi Dental
If your wisdom teeth are coming in, or you believe your child’s wisdom teeth are causing them pain, schedule an appointment with Bellissimi Dental today. Our team of caring, experienced dentists is available for wisdom teeth removal, if and when it is necessary for you, or your child. Contact us online today, or call 330-741-3334.