Do Wisdom Teeth Have to be Removed?
Wisdom teeth come in later in life, and they can make quite the entrance. If you think your wisdom teeth are the source of your pain, keep reading!
What is the Purpose of Wisdom Teeth?
The teeth that come in later in life, known as wisdom teeth, are a third set of molars. The purpose of these teeth are to allow you to be able to break food down. Most adults will get three sets of molars on both sides of the mouth, on both rows of teeth. Centuries ago, these teeth were essential to help people chew down roots, leaves, meat, and nuts, according to Healthline. However, in our world today, we can cut and break things down with different utensils. Due to this, wisdom teeth aren’t as necessary as they once were.
Signs You Might Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Most people will have their wisdom teeth come in by the time they turn 20 years old, however it can be much sooner or later than that age. When these teeth begin to erupt, it’s normal to feel some pain associated with it. Wisdom teeth can also cause problems if left in. You might need your wisdom teeth removed if you notice that they’re shifting orthodontic work you’ve had done, are causing mouth and jaw pain, or causing infection. They might also need to be removed if they’re impacted, meaning they haven’t erupted, or if they only emerge slightly.
If you continue to see your dentist regularly, they’ll be able to determine if and when it will be best to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Do Wisdom Teeth Always Have to be Removed?
Some people will never have to have their wisdom teeth removed because they don’t ever have problems. Mayo Clinic explains that wisdom teeth can be left in the mouth if they are:
- Fully grown in
- Positioned correctly for your bite
- Can easily be cleaned
Having your wisdom teeth removed is a little more of an intense and lengthy procedure than having a typical adult tooth pulled. If you need them removed, then the dentist or dental surgeon will go over the process in full with you. In most cases, you’ll be offered a sedation mechanic to make you more relaxed during the procedure. Once it takes effect, the dentist will then make a small incision in the gum to expose the tooth. Then, the dentist will remove the bone and divide the tooth into sections so it can be easily removed in pieces. Once the tooth is removed, the dentist will stitch up the wound if needed, and then place gauze to help control the bleeding.
In most cases, you can head home soon after the procedure is complete. Once you head home, you’ll need to monitor the bleeding and manage the pain. It’s normal to have some swelling and bruising for a couple of days after the procedure. Due to this, you won’t be able to eat a normal diet again for a few days. It’s also important to not drink alcohol, caffeine, or fizzy drinks for a full day. When consuming beverages for the days following the surgery, do not use a straw. Sucking a drink through a straw can dislodge blood clots from the socket, causing more bleeding and the painful condition called dry socket.
A dry socket happens when the blood clot that was formed in the socket disappears, whether from being dislodged or other reasons. If there’s no clot there, the tender area where the tooth was removed becomes exposed to air, foods, and drinks. This can cause severe pain and sometimes infection. You’ll know you have a dry socket if you can see a dry opening in the socket rather than a blood clot, unpleasant breath and taste in mouth, and severe radiating pain.
Your dentist might treat the dry socket by prescribing antibiotics for infection, applying a medicated paste or gauze, or having you rinse with warm salt water multiple times a day. If you think you have a dry socket, call your dentist right away.
Call Dr. Ania
If you are having severe tooth pain and think you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, let Dr. Ania have a look. With Dr. Ania’s experience and expertise, she’ll be able to tell you what the best course of action is for your condition. With the goal of making you as comfortable as possible during your visit, Dr. Ania and her team will work to give you a pleasant experience each time you walk in the door. To make an appointment, click here.