Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to come in and typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, although they can appear later in some individuals.
Should I definitely have my wisdom teeth extracted?
If your wisdom teeth are in the correct position and not causing harm to surrounding tissues, there is no need to have them extracted. However, if the teeth are impacted, not properly aligned, or causing potential issues, extraction may be necessary to prevent future problems.
In what situations should wisdom teeth be extracted?
Extraction may be necessary if:
- There are cavities in the wisdom teeth.
- You are experiencing gum disease.
- They are causing pressure on other teeth and resulting in pain.
- The pressure from the wisdom teeth is causing misalignment of other teeth.
- You are getting dentures or other dental prosthetics.
- They are causing the formation of cysts.
What is the optimal time to have wisdom teeth extracted?
Poorly positioned wisdom teeth, regardless of symptoms, should be extracted between the ages of 14 and 22. Operations at a younger age are technically easier and result in quicker recovery. Operations after the age of 40 are more complicated, associated with more side effects, and require a longer healing period.
Is the extraction of wisdom teeth different from other tooth extractions?
The difficulty of the procedure depends on the position, shape, and size of the wisdom tooth. After a simple extraction, mild swelling, pain, and bleeding may occur. These symptoms generally subside within a few days. In older individuals, where bone density is higher and flexibility is reduced, extraction becomes more challenging and healing may take longer.
What should I do after having my wisdom teeth extracted?
- Avoid disturbing the surgical area. Manipulating the area can lead to pain, infection, or bleeding.
- Do not chew on the side of the mouth where the tooth was extracted for the first 24 hours.
- Avoid smoking for the first 24 hours, as smoking can increase bleeding and hinder healing.
- Refrain from spitting, as spitting can increase bleeding and dislodge the blood clot.
- Control bleeding. If stitches were not used, place a sterile gauze pad over the area and bite down gently. Hold the gauze in place for about 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, replace the gauze.
- Manage swelling. Applying a cold compress to the operated area can slow circulation and reduce swelling. Apply the cold compress for 20 minutes, then take a 20-minute break, and repeat.
- Rinse your mouth with a mixture of warm water and a teaspoon of salt every 2 hours after the first 24 hours.
- Healing Process: After wisdom tooth extraction, your mouth and gum tissues will enter a healing phase. Mild pain, swelling, and sensitivity are normal during this process. The healing process duration varies from person to person, generally lasting a few days to a week.
- Pain and Inflammation Control: Regularly using the prescribed pain relievers can help control pain. Following your dentist’s instructions, you can also use mouthwash solutions to prevent inflammation.
- Diet: In the first few days, opt for soft and lukewarm foods. Avoid hard, hot, or spicy foods that can damage the extraction site.
- Rest: Resting after the operation and giving your body time to heal is important. Limit physical activities and avoid excessive exertion.
- Oral Hygiene: Follow your dentist’s recommended oral hygiene routine. Continue brushing and flossing as usual, but avoid brushing the extraction site and touching it to prevent damage during the healing process.
- Dental Check-ups: Attend the regular check-ups recommended by your dentist. During these visits, the healing process will be evaluated, and additional measures will be taken if necessary.
- Communication: If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to communicate with your dentist. Seek your dentist’s advice for information about the healing process or to address any questions you may have.
These are general guidelines for post-wisdom tooth extraction care. However, each individual’s healing process can differ. It’s best to follow your dentist’s recommendations and instructions carefully.