Common Questions About Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to erupt into the mouth. They grow in the back of the mouth, often coming in during the late teens or early twenties. Unfortunately, many people don’t have room for them and need their wisdom teeth removed. This guide will answer some common questions about wisdom teeth removal.

When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Many people choose wisdom tooth removal between the ages of 15-20. At this age, your teeth may not be fully erupted, but wisdom tooth removal is often easiest before the wisdom teeth are fully developed. Some patients may need extraction at an earlier age to avoid damage to the surrounding teeth.  The best way to determine the timing of your wisdom tooth removal, or to determine if removal is needed, is to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. After an oral examination and x-rays, we can help you decide if and when wisdom tooth removal is needed.

If you have room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth and can keep them clean, they may not need to be removed.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are often malpositioned due to space constraints. The teeth may be unable to fully erupt or may be growing at an angle, pressing up against the neighboring teeth. An oral surgeon can help you determine if your wisdom teeth are causing problems or if they are likely to cause problems in the future. Here are a few reasons you may need to consider wisdom tooth removal.

  • Jaw Damage– Cysts can develop around new teeth. If left untreated, they can cause permanent nerve and jaw damage.
  • Sinus Issues- Some patients with wisdom tooth issues experience sinus pain.
  • Damage to Other Teeth– Wisdom teeth can cause alignment problems with other teeth. Cavities and decay on the wisdom teeth can spread to the surrounding teeth.
  • Cavities- Many patients are unable to properly clean their wisdom teeth, leading to cavities and tooth decay.

What Happens During Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Your wisdom tooth removal will be customized to your unique needs. During your consultation, we’ll discuss your individual situation and make plans for appropriate pain relief, sedation (if desired), etc. We typically remove all four wisdom teeth at once, minimizing your downtime and inconvenience. Come see us and we’ll create a treatment plan together.

What Is Recovery Like After Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Recovery times vary after wisdom tooth removal, often depending on the difficulty of your extraction.  Plan on at least three days of downtime with prescription pain relief. Take it easy and get plenty of rest during the first few days. Most patients are sore for about a week, but able to resume regular activities. Complicated removals may require a longer period of downtime.

Not all patients need wisdom tooth removal, but if you do, we’re ready to help. Call our offices today and schedule your consultation.

Wisdom Tooth Surgery Recovery

 

Your dentist may suggest a wisdom tooth removal (or third molar surgery) for various reasons. It could be to prevent further oral complications or to help maintain how well your teeth look. Once your wisdom tooth has been removed, it’s wise to follow all aftercare instructions for your safety and fast recovery.

What to Do After the Surgery

For Swelling

It’s natural to have some swelling after your tooth has been extracted. To help with swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth. Do it intermittently; for example, you can apply it 20 minutes on, and then 20 minutes off. If the treated area was infected prior to the procedure, your dentist may suggest using warm, moist compresses rather than ice. You should do this within two days to minimize bruising or any discomfort.

For Bleeding

Bleeding will occur after your surgery for up to 24 hours. Try to avoid spitting as it may dislodge the blood clot from the surgery site. You may be asked to keep a gauze pad over the extraction site 30 minutes after the procedure. It is also an option to use a wet tea bag and place it over the treated site for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag will help contract the bleeding vessels that will eventually set the blood clot.

Cleaning Your Mouth

Typically, your dentist will allow you to brush your teeth or use mouthwash 24 hours after your surgery. However, in some cases, patients are permitted to use diluted mouthwash or salt water for mouth cleansing 12 hours after the procedure. Practice care when brushing teeth, especially at the site of extraction. You may also need to avoid doing rigorous exercise, smoking, or spitting for as long as there is bleeding.

Limitations on Food

Eating, drinking, and talking should be limited for at least two hours after the surgery. Once the bleeding stops, you can only drink clear liquids and eat soft food. To avoid dislodging of the treated site, you will be asked to avoid carbonated drinks. You must also refrain from eating foods like popcorn, pasta or peanuts that may leave particles in your socket.

Medications

Your doctor will prescribe medicine that will help you manage pain and prevent infection. Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly as directed. If you take a strong narcotic medication, you must avoid driving or operating machinery as well as drinking alcoholic beverages.

When to Reach out to Your Dentist or Surgeon

Swelling and bleeding at the treated site will improve as the days go by. If you experience or notice unusual changes or no improvement of the extracted site, you may need to call your dentist. Here are some of the symptoms and signs to look out for that suggest you need to see your doctor:

  • Swelling gets worse
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Excessive bleeding despite of applied pressure
  • Throbbing pain 3-4 days after the surgery
  • Consistent bad taste in the mouth that cannot be removed by rinsing
  • Elevated fever
  • Pus in the socket
  • Nasal discharge in the form of pus or blood
  • Persistent numbness

Know More About a Wisdom Tooth Surgery

Our highly trained medical staff will be happy to inform you about a third molar surgery. Schedule a consultation to find out if you need a wisdom tooth surgery, or if you need a professional help after getting one.

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth or third molars often erupt during adulthood. By this time, the mouth has developed a complete set of teeth, and the size of the jaw has stopped growing. It could be the reason why wisdom teeth frequently become problematic. When there is no room in the mouth for another molar, or when the third molar protrudes in an awkward position, it typically results in complications. For this reason, numerous doctors suggest wisdom tooth removal. A third molar surgery is usually performed between the ages of 15 to 20. The situation of your wisdom teeth can be detected with an x-ray. If you don’t feel any pain, but your third molar/wisdom teeth may soon cause a mouth problem, your dentist will recommend removal. There are various reasons why third molar removal is necessary. In this section we will know when the wisdom teeth can be kept or removed.

When Wisdom Tooth Removal Becomes Necessary

The Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Damage to Other Teeth

The new set of growing molars may push the existing teeth, which may cause pain or bite problems. The new wisdom teeth may also damage other existing teeth by pushing against them as they grow. This problem can be prevented by removing wisdom teeth that can potentially damage teeth.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Jaw Damage

Cysts can form around the wisdom teeth. These cysts can hollow out the jaws and damage the nerves.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing a Sinus Problem

An impacted wisdom tooth may cause further sinus problems leading to sinus pain, pressure, as well as congestion.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Inflamed Gums

The location of wisdom teeth may cause the gums to swell and become difficult to clean. This could lead to more complicated issues such as infection.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Cavities

Wisdom teeth can cause the gums to swell. The swollen gums can result in formation of pockets where bacteria grow. Thus, resulting in cavities.

Wisdom Teeth Will Affect or are Affecting the Teeth Alignment

An impacted wisdom tooth can cause overcrowding to the existing set of teeth. The new third molars may push against other teeth, which may affect the original alignment.

When Wisdom Teeth Can Be Kept

  • You have healthy third molars
  • Your wisdom teeth are positioned correctly
  • The third molars do not affect other teeth
  • The third molars are fully erupted
  • The wisdom teeth and surrounding gums can be cleaned easily
  • The wisdom teeth don’t cause pain or swelling

Schedule Your Consultation

Schedule a consultation and let our best surgeons assess your teeth. The only way to find out if your wisdom tooth must be removed is through an X-ray, and then analyzing its results. Get your questions asked during your consultation, our highly trained medical staff will be glad to provide answers. For the healthiest teeth and mouth possible, call Hill Country Oral Surgery today.

Top 5 Things to Do while Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common rites of passage for adults. It’s a simple procedure, although once your wisdom tooth has been removed, it is normal to feel some pain and discomfort. The removal of wisdom teeth is still a surgical procedure, and it’s essential that you follow your surgeon’s instructions for your recovery. Here are the 5 things you can do to make your wisdom tooth removal recovery successful.

1. Allot Substantial Time for Resting

Before your surgery, make you’ve set aside at least a couple of days for resting. If you live alone, you may want to have someone look after you while you heal. Take things slow during the recovery period. Keep your head elevated for the first day of recovery. You may also want to avoid exercising immediately after the procedure. You can begin performing strenuous workouts and weightlifting 5 days after your surgery.

2. Eat the Right Foods

Your surgeon will instruct you to only drink clear liquids and eat liquid food after your wisdom tooth extraction. You can gradually shift to soft solid food. Pudding and jello are good foods to eat during your recovery. It’s essential that you avoid spicy foods and using straws until your socket fully heals.

3. Rinse Mouth with Salt Water

You can brush your teeth normally after the surgery just avoiding the surgical sites. Once the bleeding stops you can use a salt water rinse to keep your mouth clean. You can use this salt water mixture several times a day, especially after eating. It helps with healing, reduces swelling and pain, and lowers the risk of infection.

4. Control Bleeding

You can control bleeding in the socket by using a gauze pad to apply a light pressure. If the bleeding is excessive, you can shift to using damped tea bags to control the bleeding. You can apply light pressure on the site by gently biting down.

5. Exercise Your Jaw

Opening your mouth after the surgery may feel uncomfortable. Your mouth could feel stiff. However, it’s important that you open your mouth every once in a while. Otherwise, the stiffness may turn permanent. For the first time you open your mouth after your tooth has been extracted, do it slowly and gently.

Learn More About Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you have questions about wisdom tooth extraction, the highly-skilled medical staff of Hill Country Surgery will be glad to answer. Reach out to Hill Country Oral Surgery, and learn everything you need to know about this procedure.