If someone ever told you that the growth of wisdom teeth makes you wise, they might not entirely be wrong. While there is no link between wisdom teeth and the intellect of a person, wisdom teeth usually come in during the late teens and pre-twenties? And well, with age, comes wisdom. Welcome to adulthood!
While most of us know what wisdom teeth are, here’s a short recap from the school days. Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars that comes in between the age of 17 to 21 to complete your 32 teeth. You get two on the upper jaw and two on your lower jaw.
The growth of wisdom teeth could be a painful experience for most people due to a lack of space in the gums or abnormal growth. The last set of molars usually grows horizontally towards the existing molars pressing onto them, or towards the opposite direction. It could also grow outward or inward. All of these could cause immense pain and infections. This is one of the main reasons why people need to get their wisdom teeth extracted.
Other common reasons as to why wisdom teeth need extraction include infection or cavities, damage to nearby teeth, lesions (abnormal-looking tissues), bone loss around roots, and lack of space for brushing or flossing.
If your wisdom teeth are aligned perfectly well, creating no issues, most dentists and health specialists don’t recommend extracting completely healthy teeth.
However, some dentists suggest tooth extraction even before they come in to avoid any problems in the future. In some cases, before the tooth comes in a sack of tissues around the wisdom tooth can develop a cyst leading to bone loss in your jaw. Besides, common complications listed above might also occur as the tooth comes in. So, they believe that not getting wisdom teeth removed is just avoiding the inevitable. However, it is always in your best interest to take a second opinion from another dentist if you have any doubts about your dentist’s suggestion and home remedies for tooth infection.
If more than half of your tooth is out of the gum, your dentist will go for a simple extraction. For this procedure, your gums are numbed and then injected with stronger anesthesia, following which, your tooth is loosened with the help of a tool called an elevator and pulled out with dental forceps. Once your tooth is out, the area is cleaned and packed with dental gauze to stop bleeding.
After the procedure, you might feel sore for a few days and experience a little bleeding on the day of the extraction. So, you shouldn’t brush your teeth or rinse for 24 hours. It is recommended to gargle with lukewarm salt water every two hours from the next day for a week.
If more than half of your tooth is under your gum, your dentist will go for a surgical extraction. As this procedure requires cutting open your gum, your dentist might refer you to an oral surgeon. During this procedure, you’ll be subjected to general anesthesia to make you unconscious. Then, your doctor will cut open your gum to remove the tooth from its root. Depending upon the position of your tooth, your doctor might have to cut a small portion of your jaw bone. As this is a surgical procedure, you might require stitches.
After the procedure, it is safe to take a cab or ask someone to drive you, as you might still feel groggy. You will be prescribed some form of painkillers to relieve the pain. And, if your jaw is swollen, placing an ice pack could help reduce the swelling. Fully opening the mouth may be difficult for a week, so sticking to soft food is advisable.
One common complication that may occur after a wisdom tooth extraction is dry socket that occurs when a blood clot doesn’t form, or the clot is dislodged. It could cause dull to severe pain, along with the bad breath.
In rare cases, you might experience paresthesia. It happens when nerves around the jawbone are damaged or bruised. It could lead to numbness of tongue, lip, or chin that could last from a few days to a few years. In some cases, it could even be permanent.
If you happen to experience any abnormalities such as difficulty swallowing or breathing, continuous bleeding, or severe pain, call your Eve Dental Centre immediately.