Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom Teeth: Is Surgery Necessary?

Wisdom teeth removals are usually done to avoid potential problems from occurring. Once you find a wisdom tooth growing in you will most likely find discomfort in your jaw line, due to the tooth growing in and being too large. Once the tooth breaks through the gum, tissue heals over the enamel. Food and germs can cause red, painful swelling in the gum which leads to infection. Other problems that may accumulate from wisdom teeth growth include painful cysts, or awkward growth causing the wisdom teeth to grow in different angles. Four cases where there is no need for surgery or wisdom tooth extraction include:

1. Healthy Teeth
2. Tooth grown in completely
3. Positioned correctly/ bites down correctly
4. Able to be properly cleaned and maintained

The Right Time for Surgery

Besides maintaining a healthy smile, wisdom teeth should be removed if any of the above do not appear during the initial weeks after new growth is detected. If this problem insists, the molars are not able to grow in properly due to lack of room in the back of your mouth. If there is not enough room inside the gums for your wisdom teeth, they will grow in horizontal angles. Other times, the tooth is fully covered and will not be able to merge without corrective surgery. Your dentist will recommend you have your wisdom teeth extracted to prevent discomfort in the mouth. This is also more beneficial for teenagers and adults to stop the wisdom teeth from becoming firmly placed within the jaw area. According to the American Dental Association, the following cases will cause for immediate extraction of wisdom teeth:
• Wisdom teeth emerging through gums, leading to a case of pericoronitis. Pericoronitis happens when gums surrounding the wisdom teeth become infected. In severe cases, pericoronitis can lead to swelling and infection below the jawline to the cheeks and neck. Symptoms include: infection, fluid in the gums, “pus-like” or bad tastes from the gums, swelling of lymph nodes and difficulty opening mouth
• Wisdom teeth grow crooked and can harm other teeth
• A cyst develops around the wisdom tooth, damaging enamel and bone

How is it Done?

The following procedure for wisdom tooth extraction can be timely and takes a while to heal. To numb the infected area, your dentist will usually give you an anesthetic to aid in the removal process. Generally, anesthetics are good for alleviating pain in the mouth and will also help patients with sleep while doing the surgery. In order for the anesthetic to work effectively, most dentists recommend for you not to eat or drink anything the night before surgery.

For removal of wisdom teeth, your dentist will remove tissue from around the gum and take out any bone covering the tooth. Through separating the tissue connected with the tooth, your dentist will easily be able to remove the tooth by cutting it in smaller pieces. This process makes extraction less painful during removal. After removal of the area, stitches may be applied to the surgical cuts made, which can dissolve within a few days or removed with additional check-up.

Follow up Procedures

After surgery, recovery usually takes a couple of days to adequately heal. Painkillers will help speed up the healing process. If you still experience bleeding in the gums, place gauze over the wound to aid with blood that will accumulate over time. If you are experiencing numbness of the mouth, try not to bite down on the tongue or in sensitive areas on the inside of the mouth. Using icepacks around the jawline can help ease swelling or pain that builds around the mouth during healing. As the days carry on, switch from icepacks to warm water rung out using a washcloth. If you are involved in any physical activities during your time of surgery, slow down or stop indefinitely until your mouth properly heals.

Soft foods such as yogurt, soup and noodles will help keep your gums softened for proper healing. Straws are to be avoided during the first few days of healing to prevent the blood clot from loosening in the gums and delay the healing. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water for 1-3 days to reduce pain and swelling of the gums. One tablespoon of warm salt water is all that you need to keep your mouth clean, and to aid in the healing of the tissue. If you smoke, it is recommended that you wait 24 hours or longer before smoking after surgery. Smoking decreases your blood supply, and can also lead to additional contaminants in the mouth leading to more infection. Avoid touching the area with your fingers and brush gently while maintaining your healing process.

James J. McCall is a family and cosmetic dentistry located in Jacksonville Florida, offering dental cleaning, periodontal treatment, dental extractions, root canals, crowns and more. To remove wisdom teeth the Jacksonville office is open for all inquiries and questions. For preventative care and quality service you can depend on, James McCall has been offering service to the Jacksonville area for over 20 years.

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