One of the biggest causes of oral pain in adults is when the back molars appear. Commonly known as wisdom teeth, they are the last teeth to emerge in your mouth and start between the ages of 17 and 21 at the top and bottom of both sides of the mouth, which can result in a variety of problems due to the many ways they grow. They can be misaligned and may grow in odd locations, and as they are likely to push the rest of your teeth, this can result in extreme discomfort. In addition, as they are encased within soft tissue or inside the jaw bone, this can result in bacteria entering around the tooth, potentially causing serious infections. But what do you need to know about wisdom teeth, and how can this problem be treated?
The best way to find out, as wisdom teeth can stay in the soft tissue or inside the jawbone, is to have regular dental appointments. This will make sure Dr. Sander I. White can identify if you have any wisdom teeth growing. If we detect that your wisdom teeth have grown or are starting to grow, we may recommend extracting them before they have the opportunity to impact the rest of your teeth.
For many people, wisdom teeth do not pose an immediate problem. But, if you experience any of the following issues, you will likely need your wisdom tooth extracted:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we suggest you schedule an appointment to diagnose the issue.
Some patients are asymptomatic with their wisdom teeth. If you experience no symptoms, there is a chance your wisdom teeth could grow in directions detrimental to your other teeth. If your wisdom tooth grows at an angle towards the next tooth, or towards the back of the mouth, the best option is to have them removed. If you have your wisdom teeth removed at a younger age, this provides a number of benefits:
Wisdom teeth removal is an outpatient procedure, meaning that it is done through the course of one day. The process takes around 45 minutes to complete. The best way to prepare for wisdom teeth removal is to know the process:
Numbing the area around your wisdom tooth
If necessary, you may be sedated. We offer two types of sedation: oral sedation, which is a commonly prescribed sedative to put you in a state of relaxation, and our other sedation is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. The gas is inhaled through a mask, quickly reducing anxiety and discomfort. Dr. White will go through the sedation choices to help you determine the right option.
An incision is made around the gum tissue
The incision exposes the truth so Dr. White can get access to the tooth. The depth of the incision depends on the depth of the wisdom tooth.
Bone is removed
Dr. White may remove bone if it is blocking the root of the tooth and will cut the tooth into sections before removing it. By cutting it into smaller pieces, it is easier to remove and has less of an impact on the affected area.
The area is cleaned
Any debris and bone are removed safely at this point, and finally, the wound is closed with stitches, and gauze is used to control the bleeding to help the wound heal faster. Depending on the number of wisdom teeth you have, the process is repeated accordingly.
Most patients recover from wisdom teeth surgery in a matter of days. It takes between 3 and 4 days for a full recovery but this may change depending on the angle of the impacted teeth. At most, it can take up to a full week for recovery. While you can resume normal activities the day after the surgery, the wound does not heal for months, meaning that you need to avoid any activity that could cause the stitches to dislodge or make blood clot over the wound. This can include smoking, drinking from a straw, and strenuous exercise. While swelling and bleeding is normal, if there is any excessive and unbearable pain get in contact with us as soon as possible, especially if medication is not reducing the pain.
It is difficult to predict future problems with wisdom teeth. But it is crucial to be aware of any potential long-term impacts. For example, if you have wisdom teeth but no symptoms, the teeth could still harbor disease. Also, if there is not enough space for the tooth to erupt, you may find it difficult to clean. There is also the potential for older adults to experience complications after wisdom tooth surgery.
If you have any concerns about your wisdom teeth, whether you are aware of them, or you want to check if they are causing problems, you should contact Dr. Sander I. White and the Advanced Dental Concepts team for treatment and advice. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Wisdom teeth, even if they don't cause you any problems right now, have the potential to affect many aspects of your oral health.