The wisdom tooth extraction is the most common minor oral surgery. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually appear between the ages of 17 and your twenties. An extraction becomes necessary if the wisdom teeth affect other teeth during their development, if they are non-conservable or they have already become impacted. The extraction of a completely erupted wisdom tooth (ie. the tooth is visible in the mouth) can be performed with a simple # extraction under local anasthetic (to numb the tooth and the surrounding) and needs only the use of instruments to elevate (lift) and forceps to widen the alveolar bone by slowly wiggling the tooth back and forth until it loosens enough to remove it.
Whether your wisdom teeth have come in or not, they may be causing problems that could include:
- Misalignment of jaw and teeth
- Tooth decay from trapped bacteria and food
- Pain, stiffness and swelling
- Gum disease
- Jawbone damage
- Nerve damage
- Cysts and tumors in the jaw
Why should wisdom teeth be removed?
Removing wisdom teeth can not only resolve current problems with overcrowding and misalignment, but can also help prevent more serious issues such as infection, decay, and jaw and nerve damage. With an experienced and skilled oral surgeon like Dr. Stein, wisdom teeth can be removed easily and safely.
Risks after Tooth Extractions
The risks or post-extraction problems you may experience with extracting a wisdom tooth include:
- Pain and swelling in your gum and tooth socket where the tooth was removed.
- Bleeding that won’t stop about 24 hours after the extraction
- Difficulty with opening your jaw
- Persistent sinus opening when a wisdom tooth from the upper jaw is removed
- Lower lip numbness after the localanethetic wears off
After the surgery, the healing takes only a few days in most cases. The prescribed painkillers (such as Ibuprofen) from your dentist or oral surgeon will help if you really need them.
Recovery Tips for Tooth Extractions
To speed the recovery the following tips may help:
- While your mouth is numb, be very careful not to bite or burn the inside of your cheek, lip, or your tongue.
- Try to cool the outside of your cheek with an ice pack for the first 24 hours. To let an icecube melt in the mouth is also cooling the inside.
- Relax after surgery. Reduce activity because it may increase bleeding.
- Eat soft foods which can be easily chewed and swallowed, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup.
- Sucking on a straw or excessive rinse of the mouth can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
- After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water or warm camomile tea several times a day and repeat after every meal or snack.
- Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. Nicotin may break down the blood clot and cause delayed healing and pain, known as “Dry-Socket”.
- Avoid touching the area with your finger or rubbing it with your tongue.
- Continue to brush carefully your teeth and tongue twice a day. Keeping your mouth very clean will help avoid complications as delayed healing or infections.