Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Why It's Done
A wisdom tooth is extracted to correct an actual problem or to prevent problems that may come up in the future. When these little guys come in, a number of problems can occur:
- Crowding of the back teeth causing the rest of your teeth to shift.
- Wisdom teeth may become impacted and unable to break through your gums. This happens if your jaw is not large enough for them.
- Red, swollen, and painful gums caused by a flap of skin around wisdom tooth that has only partially come in.
- Gum disease and tooth decay in the wisdom tooth because they are harder to clean.
The Process of Extracting Wisdom Teeth:
Wisdom teeth can be extracted by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The procedure is usually done at a dental office, but if you are at high risk for complications, it can also be done in the hospital. If you have any infections, surgery should be delayed until the infection has cleared up. Your dentist or doctor may have you take antibiotics to help get the infection out of your body.
Before the extraction, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to number the area. To remove the wisdom tooth, your dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. Your dentist will then separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Often the tooth has to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.
Once the tooth is removed, it is not uncommon to need some stitches. Don't worry, you won't feel a thing
What To Do After Surgery:
- Bite gently on the gauze pad and change them periodically. If the bleeding continues 24 hours after the surgery, call your dentist or surgeon.
- Do not lie flat as this may prolong bleeding. Use pillow to prop up your head.
- Try to relax after the surgery. This means, no gym or any activities that would cause increased heart rate.
- While your mouth is numb after the surgery, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheeks, lips, and tongue.
- Applying an ice pack to the outside of your cheek for the first 24 hours helps a lot.
- Change up your diet to soft foods only. These include puddings, soups, gelatin, and any other soft foods.
- Avoid using straws for the first 2 or 3 days. Sucking on a straw can loose the blood clot and delay healing.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water 24 hours after surgery to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can actually make the mixture yourself. Mix 1 table spoon of salt in an 8 ounce glass of warm water.
- Absolutely no smoking for at least 48 hours after surgery. The sucking can loosen the clot and delay healing.
- Gently brush your teeth and tongue.