Are Your Wisdom Teeth Facing Eviction
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars located in the back of your mouth. Some of us will experience the eruption of one—or all four—at one point, but others will go their entire lives without sprouting any of these hidden molars. For those whose wisdom teeth do grow out, surgical extraction is dependent on how these teeth grow in and affect the rest of the mouth. Are yours in need of eviction?
Signs Your Wisdom Tooth Needs to Go
Not all wisdom teeth require surgical removal. If a tooth has fully erupted and does not hinder the adjacent tooth, it can be retained by maintaining proper dental hygiene (i.e brushing, cleaning and flossing the tooth regularly).
However, there are some cases where these teeth begin to cause pain — from mild to unbearable. When this occurs, Acosta Dental Arts encourages our North Palm Beach and Juno Beach clients to visit us when this occurs in order to evaluate whether extraction is required. The most common signs of surgical intervention are if:
- The tooth has partially erupted past the gingival tissue
- The tooth erupts at an angle that would affect the hygiene of the adjacent tooth, resulting in periodontal pockets or gum pockets to grow around it.
A partially erupted wisdom tooth can cause a soft tissue growth (called operculum) to develop over it. This can cause a series of problems, including infection and possible inflammation of the surrounding area. Bacteria can grow underneath the operculum, causing a much more serious infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. Pericoronitis usually occurs when there is no room left for all of the teeth in the lower jaw, and this is a sign that the tooth must be immediately extracted. This condition leads to a series of symptoms, including:
- Pain when biting on back teeth
- Bad breath/taste in mouth
- Red and inflamed gum tissues
- Possible pus oozing and draining from the infected area
Tooth Extraction Procedure and Recovery
Wisdom tooth removal is a relatively minor surgery. At Acosta Dental Arts we ensure our patients are comfortable and informed of the procedure ahead before commencing. You will first be given local anesthesia to prevent feeling any discomfort during the procedure. After the sedative has set in, an incision is made in the gum tissue to remove the bone blocking the root of the tooth. The tooth is then removed and the area is cleaned and stitched up. Certain wisdom teeth extractions, depending on the degree of impaction, may be referred to an oral surgeon. An oral surgeon can administer general or I.V. sedation to perform this procedure.
Recovering from wisdom tooth surgery can take between 3-5 days. During recovery, you may experience slight bleeding, or oozing, from the location of the extraction, as well as bruising and swelling. Bruising and swelling can be relieved by using an ice pack (as directed). Any pain felt post-surgery can be relieved with prescribed or over-the-counter medication (depending on the severity of the pain).
While recovering from surgery, keep in mind to avoid:
- Brushing, rinsing or spitting within the first 24 hours
- The use of tobacco. This can delay the healing process and increase your chances of infection.
- Strenuous activity for at least a week
- Hard, hot or spicy foods that can irritate the wound or get stuck in the socket.
Wisdom tooth pain can sometimes grow to the point where it prevents you from performing daily functions–this may be a sign of a dental emergency. Call Acosta Dental Arts today at 561-935-9336 to schedule a same-day appointment (walk-ins accepted). Otherwise, schedule your Free Smile Assessment with us to determine if wisdom tooth surgery is right for you.
If you are experiencing an after-hours dental emergency, follow the instructions of our automated voicemail.