Dudhat Dental Clinic

Wisdom tooth extraction

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth often first appear in young adults between the ages of 17 to 21. They are also called third molars. Because most mouths are too small for 4 more teeth, wisdom teeth often need to be removed. This is called an extraction. It sometimes needs to be done as soon as they erupt or break through the surface.

When should wisdom teeth be removed?

These symptoms may mean that the wisdom teeth have erupted, and should be removed before they cause more serious problems.

  • Pain

  • Infection in the mouth

  • Facial swelling

  • Swelling of the gumline in the back of the mouth around the wisdom tooth

The wisdom teeth may be partly erupted. That means the teeth have partly surfaced and have no room in the mouth to come in completely.

Completely impacted teeth have not come through the gum and may never erupt into the mouth. If they are not causing problems or seen as a possible problem, then many dentists will choose to watch them over time. If the wisdom teeth are causing problems or likely to cause problems, most oral health specialists will advise to remove them right away. Early removal will help to prevent problems, such as an impacted tooth that causes the roots of the second molar to resorb.

What problems are often linked to impacted wisdom teeth?

  • Bacteria and plaque buildup if the molars are partly erupted

  • A cyst or fluid-filled sac

  • A tumor
  • Infection

  • Jaw and gum disease

  • Decay or root resorption of the nearby tooth

How are wisdom teeth removed?

To remove the wisdom teeth, your dentist will make a cut or incision through the gum tissue over the tooth. They will gently detach the connective tissue between the tooth and the bone. The tooth is then removed and the opening in the gum is stitched closed. Sometimes, some of the bone surrounding the tooth must be removed. The tooth may need to be cut into sections to allow removal.

  • Minor bleeding and “oozing” for 1-2 days.

  • Pain and discomfort slowly improving in 1-5 days.

  • Swelling for 1 week becoming worse on the 2nd and 3rd day after surgery.

  • Tightness and stiffness to the jaw and joint areas.

  • After the first 24 hours following surgery, rinse gently with warm salt water after every meal. This can continue 1-2 weeks. Brush gently avoiding the extraction sites for 1-2 weeks.

  • You may be biting on gauze when you leave the clinic. This gauze should remain for 30 minutes. After that, you may take the gauze out and observe the extraction area. If it is bleeding like a fresh wound (bright red, dripping blood) bite on additional fresh gauze for approximately 30 more minutes. Repeat as necessary until the area is slight oozing and blood is dark & clotting. Remember a little blood and a lot of saliva will look like a lot of blood, usually it is just a lot of saliva.

  • Do not smoke, spit, drink through a straw, or drink carbonated beverages for 3 days after surgery.

  • No rinsing for the first 24 hours.

  • If you had upper teeth removed avoid blowing your nose and sneezing for the first week (if you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open to prevent sinus damage).

  • Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain. Ice packs can be applied for 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off for the first 24 hours (while awake). After the first 24 hours, discontinue ice and use warm moist heat.

If you have received IV sedation do not drive for 24 hours or while taking Narcotics.

Your first day will consist of soft, cool foods such as: Jello, pudding, yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese and ice cream. Soup is fine as long as it is room temperature only. Around day 3-4 you may resume regular diet as tolerated, but should your jaw start to ache, resume soft diet for a couple more days to rest the jaw muscle.

You may be given pain medication or be directed to use an over the counter pain medication, either will help with discomfort and painful swelling (inflammation). Be sure to take as directed.

  • You may be given a prescription for antibiotics. Be sure to take them as directed.

  • Unless otherwise instructed, continue taking any medications prescribed by your primary care physician.

  • After oral surgery procedures, pain is best managed with scheduled doses of NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen (up to 3200 mg daily) and Acetaminophen (up to 3000 mg) daily

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