Wisdom teeth or third molars (M3s) are the molars in the back of your mouth. As an adult, the third molars are the last four permanent teeth to appear. However, they tend to be problematic even if you have the best oral hygiene. Third molars always come out between 17 and 25 years of age or they can erupt many years later. When problems caused by third molars arise, dentists recommend extracting them. The need of removing your wisdom teeth depends on their condition. Your wisdom tooth may not require removal when there are no complications, if it is healthy, positioned correctly, and bite properly with the opposing tooth, fully grown, and able to be cleaned as part of the daily hygiene routine.
Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Third molars could be as useful as any other teeth. However, sometimes they do not get enough space to grow in and they get stuck in the very back of the mouth. Other times, third molars grow positioned crooked or sideways in the jaws, limiting them from erupting into your mouth effectively and causing what is known as impacted wisdom tooth.
Reasons Wisdom Teeth Is Removed
When your dentist or surgeon detects the capability of your wisdom teeth to cause complications in your mouth, removal will be highly suggested. In most cases, you might be required to eject all your third molars-*, even if the problems are not yet intense. The removal of third molars is easier when you are younger than older, simply because the roots are not fully developed and the bone around the teeth is not too dense. This guarantees less damage to the nerves, teeth, or bone during the removal process.
Poor growth leads to various problems that might impact your oral health. Below are some unhealthy circumstances that might cause your dentist to recommend the removal of your impacted wisdom teeth.
- Partial emergence through the gums. The location of wisdom teeth might be hard to see and clean hence causing it to decay or get infected. As it begins to emerge partially, it creates a passageway that can be an attraction for bacteria causing oral infections which include gum disease. As the bacterial infection enters your bloodstream, it can negatively affect your heart and other vital parts of your body.
- Remaining permanently hidden in the gums. When your wisdom teeth cannot emerge normally, they become impacted in your jaw. Such conditions attract bacteria that cause infections, cysts, or tumors that cause nerve damage to your teeth roots and bone structure.
- Overcrowding. Third molars crowd or damage your nearby teeth if they don’t have enough room to grow effectively. Healthy teeth can be affected as impacted wisdom teeth find their way against your second molars.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
Wisdom teeth removal is a routine procedure. Your dentist or surgeon/oral surgeon will administer anesthesia. Different types of anesthesia that are used include local and general anesthesia.
During the tooth extraction process, your oral surgeon will create an incision at the extraction site, on the dry socket, leaving the tooth and bone exposed. The bone blocking access to the tooth root will later be removed. The tooth can sometimes be crashed into pieces to make it easier to remove. Eventually, after tooth extraction, the site gets cleaned to remove debris from the tooth or bone. The wound will be stitched effectively throughout the process to encourage the healing and formation of a blood clot.
During recovery after wisdom teeth removal, you will be required to bite down slightly on a piece of gauze to help blood clots form. The duration is taken for blood clot formation ranges between 30 to 45 minutes from the moment you depart from the office. Through such a process, any bleeding that may occur is limited. You may encounter some swelling and pain but after 24 hours to a few days, you will be okay. However, you must call your surgeon in case you experience severe pain, bleeding swelling, fever, or further complications.
It is recommended that you take soft foods after the extraction procedure and during recovery. You can be able to go back to normal foods after healing. Use an ice pack after the surgery to reduce swelling. Avoid sucking on a straw as this will undo the blood clots and impair healing. After surgery, the dentist may suggest gentle rinsing with salt water to help deal with the pain. It may take one to three days to heal the pain after the dentist carries out a surgery.