By the time you reach your late teens or early twenties, 28 adult teeth will have already erupted. The third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are the last set of teeth to come through. This means there is always insufficient room in the mouth for them to grow properly.
Due to the lack of space, the wisdom teeth may get stuck and partially emerge or emerge at an angle. Those that grow through like this are referred to as impacted.
When to See Your Dentist
If you are experiencing discomfort or severe pain from your wisdom teeth, you need to make an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will check if your wisdom tooth/teeth must be removed. You will be advised to undergo a dental X-ray to get a clearer view of the position of the affected tooth/teeth.
But do all wisdom teeth need to be extracted?
4 Indications of Wisdom Tooth Removal
We asked our friend, Dr. Chris Green, a dentist in Parker, CO, about signs of wisdom tooth impaction. Dr. Green says the following are signs of wisdom tooth removal:
- Wisdom tooth is impacted and can’t break through your gums
- Wisdom tooth might partially break through your gums, resulting in the growth of a flap of gum tissue over it. Germs and food particles can be trapped under the flap, causing your gums to swell and be painful.
- Impacted wisdom tooth resulted in damage to other teeth and bone.
- Wisdom tooth erupted in an awkward angle, with its top facing backward, forward or sideways.
How Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Done
Prior to removing a wisdom tooth, your dentist will numb the area by administering local anesthetic. Sometimes, general anesthetic is used, most especially if your dentist needs to remove more than one wisdom tooth as this causes you to sleep and prevents pain in the whole body.
Your dentist will then cut the gum tissue and take out any bone covering the tooth. To make it easier to remove, your dentist may cut the tooth into smaller pieces. Once the tooth has been successfully removed, you might need stitches. To stop the bleeding, a gauze pad will be placed over the wound.
- Rest and keep your activity level to a minimum.
- To stop bleeding, use an ice pack or sit upright.
- Expect some pain after surgery. Take the prescribed pain medication even before the anesthetic wears off.
- Minimize swelling by applying a cold compress firmly to the check near the incision site.
- Always keep your mouth clean.
Things to Avoid
- Rinsing your mouth vigorously.
- Participating in strenuous activities.
- Eating extremely hot foods or smaller foods that can get stuck in the socket area.
- Using a straw for the first couple of days.
If you think you need to have, a wisdom tooth extracted, be sure to contact Laurich Dentistry. Our dental office in Livonia and Farmington Hills can help you.