Have you ever wondered why we have wisdom teeth? Or whether or not you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted? We’re here to answer that for you…
What is Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are what the final set of molars, the teeth found at the very back of the mouth, are called. These usually first appear quite long after the rest of the adult teeth have already been fully grown inside your mouth.
Why Take Them Out?
Most people’s wisdom teeth break through the gum line in their late teenage years to early twenties and can cause varying degrees of discomfort when they do so. It should only take a few days for you to heal and feel back to normal. Most people have them removed for one of these reasons:
- They come in at the wrong angle. They may press against your other teeth, and cause discomfort.
- They’re impacted. Because they’re so far back in your mouth, wisdom teeth may not come in normally. They can be trapped in your jawbone or gums, which can be very very painful.
- You have cavities or gum disease. You may not be able to reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush or dental floss.
- Your mouth isn’t big enough. Your jaw has no room for an extra set of molars, which can cause strain.
Your dentist says it’s time to remove your wisdom teeth. He may refer you to an oral surgeon, who will do the procedure in his office. It should only take a few days for you to heal and feel back to normal. BUT, we have some helpful tips for Before & After Surgery…
You’ll meet with the oral surgeon to talk about the process. At this appointment, make sure you:
- List any drugs you take on a regular basis.
- Ask any questions you have about the surgery.
- Talk about any health problems you have
- Discuss what type of anesthesia you’ll have. You can either be numb or asleep during your wisdom teeth extraction.
- Plan time off from work or school to have your surgery and rest afterward at home. Set up any child care, pet care, or a ride home if needed.
Your surgery should take 45 minutes or less. Everyone responds differently to anesthesia.
Most people have little to no pain after surgery. You’ll likely have swelling and mild discomfort for 3 or so days. Your mouth may need a few weeks to completely heal.
Follow your doctor’s instructions for a quicker recovery. Here are some tips for the first 3 days after surgery:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Use an ice pack on your face to help any swelling.
- Eat soft or liquid type foods like soup or pasta.
- Brush your teeth starting the second day. Careful to avoid your stitched up areas.
- Ensure you take the drugs your doctor prescribes to ease pain or swelling.
- Don’t drink through a straw. Sucking may loosen blood clots that help your mouth heal.
- Don’t eat hard, or crunchy foods that may scratch your wounds, and open them.
- Don’t eat foods that will cause you to open your jaw too big, and prevent healing
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can slow your healing, as well as cause dangerous dry sockets.