wisdom tooth at an angle

5 Things You Need to Know About Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Tooth Problems

Situated at the back of the jawbone, wisdom teeth are the last permanent molars to appear and can often be problematic for patient and dentist.
Because humans no longer need to chew on really hard foods, these molars are essentially redundant. Also, the human mouth is now smaller than in ancient times which can lead to problems including:

  • Partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • Impacted wisdom tooth
  • Misalignment of nearby teeth

Partially erupted or impacted wisdom teeth are usually difficult to clean which increases the risk for infection and gum disease — which can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the jaw. Problem wisdom teeth will usually need to be extracted.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If there isn’t enough room for your wisdom teeth to emerge, they may become stuck under the gumline.
Dental problems like the following can be seen

  • Signs of impaction or infection include pain, swelling, bleeding around the area or bad breath.
  • Partially impacted wisdom teeth are more difficult to clean and so more prone to infection.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth can cause other teeth to shift.

Schedule an appointment with your dentist to check if your wisdom teeth are emerging properly or require extraction.
“You don’t want to wait to see a dentist when it comes to impacted wisdom teeth.”

What To Expect After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you’re scheduled to have wisdom teeth surgery, you will want to be familiar with the healing process and with the most common things you can expect post-op.

Here are 3 common post-op conditions that you may face:

  • Swelling should go down within a few days after the procedure.
  • There might be some minor bleeding, which you can alleviate by keeping your head elevated.
  • You may experience some temporary numbness along the jaw area.

Wisdom tooth extraction is a very common dental procedure but the following should be avoided following surgery:

  • Brushing teeth close to the extraction area
  • Hot beverages
  • Chewy foodstuffs

It is also advisable to forego smoking or drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after the extraction
Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about other things you can do to ensure the healing process goes smoothly.

How to Reduce Swelling After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Extraction of wisdom teeth is a common procedure but is followed by facial swelling:

  • You can reduce swelling by keeping your head elevated, swilling with a saltwater rinse thrice daily and applying hot or cold compresses.
  • Chamomile tea can also help reduce swelling, particularly if you cool a brewed teabag and chew down on it.
  • If you are concerned about the after effects of wisdom teeth extraction speak to your dentist.

“When getting your wisdom teeth removed, it’s essential to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions both before and after the procedure.

Managing Pain Following Tooth Extraction

It is not uncommon to experience some pain following a tooth extraction. The dentist will normally prescribe a course of painkillers to alleviate any painful reactions to the surgery and following the instructions is crucial to making recovery as painless as possible:

  • Take the medications as prescribed even if there is no pain.
  • Take the correct dosage at the correct time.
  • Do not take medications on an empty stomach to avoid acidity and indigestion.

Going through life without having teeth extracted is most unlikely but effective aftercare can alleviate pain and “reduce the risk of complications”.

Dr Panayiotis Karavellas

GDC Number: 252290

Panos is the most recent addition to complement our highly skilled clinicians and brings with him passion, enthusiasm and energy. Panos believes in delivering the best care possible at the highest of standards consistently and hence uses magnification routinely at a factor of 5 through the use of loupes – “no detail is too small”.

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