Many of us experience issues with our wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth generally come through in our adult years and if there isn’t enough room for them, they can cause various problems and/or pain. When this happens, wisdom teeth extraction is usually the best course of action.
Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Problems
If you notice any of the below occurring in and around your mouth, it could be a sign that your wisdom teeth are playing up:
- Pain or stiffness near the tooth area or jaw
- Swollen or broken gums
- Pain or irritation caused by the tooth rubbing against your mouth, cheek or tongue
- Teeth decay or pain related to overcrowding in the mouth
Wisdom Teeth Extraction – What Does It Involve?
Wisdom teeth extraction is a common treatment in dealing with troublesome wisdom teeth. It’s important to remember that while wisdom teeth extraction can seem daunting, it is a safe dental procedure and is not that different from removing ordinary teeth:
- Your dentist will take x-rays (if they have not already done so) to determine the position and seriousness of the problem.
- Your dentist will then take you through the extraction procedure and inform you of the risks involved. They may also put you on antibiotics.
- On the day of your extraction, the dentist (or oral surgeon) will numb your gums and the surrounding mouth/jaw area; in some cases, you may be offered a heavier anaesthetic (e.g. if you are undergoing surgery).
- Once your anaesthetic kicks in, the dentist or oral surgeon will work carefully to remove the wisdom tooth; this can sometimes involve removing tiny pieces of bone that are around the tooth or connected to the tooth. The dentist may also choose to separate the tooth into smaller pieces before extracting it.
- When you wake, the dentist will give you some post-extraction instructions and oral care processes to follow to ensure a healthy recovery.
- After the procedure is over, you should aim to rest for at least 2-3 days while you recover. Eating soft foods, keeping an ice pack on your jaw and salt rinses can all make you feel better.
How Do I Know If I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
It’s vital that you speak to your family dentist if your wisdom teeth are causing you pain or irritation, as they will inform you whether wisdom teeth extraction is needed.
Keep in mind that having your wisdom teeth removed earlier in life is beneficial, since you usually heal faster at a younger age and are less susceptible to infections.
What Next For My Wisdom Teeth?
A professional inspection of your wisdom teeth by a qualified dentist is essential in deciding if your teeth will later cause you problems. The next time you are booked in for a checkup and clean, ask your dentist about your wisdom teeth health and placement!