We all have heard of wisdom teeth. While some talk about the painful experience of removing a wisdom tooth or the difficulties associated, let us look at wisdom teeth. Wisdom tooth pain is the most common reason young adults seek emergency dental care.
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars in the back of your mouth. They are usually seen around adolescence and up to the mid-twenties. The reasons why dentists suggest extraction of wisdom teeth are as follows:
- When the wisdom teeth are impacted meaning they can be trapped in your jawbone or gums, which can be painful.
- They grow in an angle that presses against other teeth.
- The mouth has no space for an extra set of molars.
- You have cavities or gum disease.
What are impacted wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth cause a lot of pain as they make space; they push through the gums where the other teeth have already taken place. When wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to grow they are known as impacted wisdom teeth. This leads to crowding, painful gums, inflammation and infection.
Sometimes, the damage is visible and sometimes it isn’t. But impacted wisdom teeth carry the risk of disease. For many people, wisdom teeth will eventually grow and settle down, but wisdom teeth may need to be extracted if:
- There is unbearable pain and discomfort.
- There is no room for the tooth to grow; this may cause pressure and eventual damage to nearby teeth.
- The teeth are partially erupted and decayed.
Treating and preventing wisdom teeth symptoms
While the causes and treatment are varied, dentists agree that proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing symptoms. Since wisdom teeth are located in the back of your mouth cleaning them is difficult. This can often lead to tooth decay. Even partially erupted teeth are difficult to clean thoroughly.
To avoid the problems with impacted wisdom teeth:
- Clean properly, morning and night, using a soft electric or manual toothbrush.
- Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
- Sometimes acute tooth pain is caused by inflammation of the tissue around the tooth. This can be treated with painkillers and mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, or in severe cases, a dose of antibiotics may help.
How are the wisdom teeth treated?
The dentist will probably take an x-ray to see where the roots lie and how the tooth is growing. Usually dentists prefer performing tooth extraction under local anesthesia and most pain disappears within a week.
Tooth removal procedure:
The procedure is carried out by a professional and sometimes, you may need a few stitches, or for partially erupted teeth, a surgical incision might be made in the extraction site. This however, is based on individual cases.
Once the tooth is extracted, gauze is placed over the site. This puts pressure on the wound area and helps reduce bleeding.
The extraction site heals relatively quickly, but there are a few extremely important post procedure dos and don’ts:
- For the first couple hours eat foods that are cold and soft such as yogurt or ice cream.
- Avoid vigorous physical activity for a couple of days.
- Avoid brushing the extraction site for at least a few days.
- Use pain medications only as directed by your oral surgeon.
- It’s important to relax, but make sure to avoid alcohol and smoke for at least 24 hours.
- Use ice packs to reduce swelling and pain. Don’t use a straw to drink as sucking may loosen blood clots.
- Don’t rinse your mouth harshly.
- Don’t eat hard or sticky foods.
If you have a fever or difficulty swallowing, contact your dentist or dental emergency service immediately. If you are having wisdom tooth pain or other dental concerns, it is best to get it checked by one of Harbour Pointe’s experienced oral surgeons. Our highly trained and skilled oral surgeons will guide you to the right solution.. For more information, visit https://www.harbourpointeoralsurgery.net/. You can book an appointment at https://www.harbourpointeoralsurgery.net/contact-us/