5 Facts About Wisdom Teeth
- Wisdom teeth are the only teeth not formed during prenatal development.
- Wisdom teeth do not always require removal.
- Impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe periodontal disease in the gums.
- Wisdom teeth serve virtually no purpose in the mouth.
- Some people never develop wisdom teeth, while others have 2, 3, or 4.
Wisdom Teeth: When Do They Come In?
Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars that develop during the late teen years and early twenties. Wisdom teeth erupt in the back of the mouth and should be removed if misaligned.
Misaligned wisdom teeth may be positioned horizontally or aiming towards the other back molars. When these teeth erupt, their positioning may cause damage to adjacent teeth and the jawbone.
Why Do We Need To Extract Wisdom Teeth?
Some people can go their whole lives without having their wisdom teeth removed and experience no issues. Others are not so lucky and could have misaligned wisdom teeth that require immediate removal. This removal is necessary because the person may be in severe discomfort, and the wisdom teeth can crowd the mouth and damage other teeth.
Another reason wisdom teeth could require removal is if they’re impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are enclosed within the soft tissues of the gums or jawbone, which causes them only partially to erupt. This partial eruption creates an opening in the gums that harvests bacteria and other infections. A build-up of bacteria can lead to:
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal or gum disease
- Cysts and benign growths
How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If your wisdom teeth have fully erupted already, removal is as easy as removing any other tooth. If the wisdom teeth are still under the gums, removal will be much more difficult because there is no easy access to the tooth. The procedure requires an incision to be made in the gums followed by removal of a portion of the jawbone that lies above the tooth.
What Are The Possible Complications?
The most common complication during wisdom teeth extraction is dry socket. Dry socket occurs when the blood clots that form in the socket of the tooth either dislodge or fail to develop. Blood clot formation is vital to proper healing, and without it, the healing process is delayed. Dry sockets cause dull pain and a foul odor in the mouth and usually can be treated by your oral surgeon with medication.
What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Before extraction, you will be numbed with an anaesthetic, and if you prefer, you can be sedated to eliminate any anxiety during the procedure. You can discuss sedation with your dentist in Derby to understand your options.
How Long Does It Take To Recover?
Most people heal completely after around two weeks. The speed of your recovery depends on whether you develop dry sockets, how complicated your extraction was, and how well you take care of the site after extraction. Usually, stitches are removed a week after the procedure - if any remain - and any stiffness or soreness should go away. At the two-week mark, any bruising should be completely gone.
How To Heal Faster
To promote the fastest healing process, follow these suggestions:
- Use clean, moist gauze to stop the bleeding that may occur in the 24 hours following your extraction procedure. Apply pressure to the tooth socket by biting down on the gauze.
- To minimize any facial swelling, wrap ice in a cloth and hold it to the face.
- Take your antibiotics and pain medications.
- Restrict your diet to liquids until all numbness has worn off completely.
- Brush your teeth normally, but, avoid the teeth on either side of your extracted teeth for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
- After the first 24 hours, treat facial swelling with a warm moist towel rather than ice.
- Rinse the mouth regularly with warm salt water to avoid dry sockets, but avoid spitting in case you dislodge the blood clot.
Hilton Dental Care is a Derby, England dental practice, conveniently close to both Derby and Burton upon Trent. The practice is fully private and offers routine check-ups, cosmetic procedures, teeth straightening, facial aesthetics and emergency dental care.