Wisdom Teeth Pain

What To Know About Wisdom Teeth Removal

Your mouth goes through a lot of changes as you age, and one of those milestone changes is the onset of your wisdom teeth. Most people experience the development of their third molars around the age of 16-21, but they can come in even later for some people. Because they can cause problems if they don’t develop properly, and because surgical removal is rather straightforward, wisdom teeth removal is considered the norm here in the US. Below, we take a closer look at your wisdom teeth and the surgical removal process.

Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

When your wisdom teeth come in correctly, they can help you chew your food. However, since they grow near the back of your mouth, there isn’t always room for them to safely develop. Moreover, sometimes they can get trapped underneath your gums or in your jaw. Each of these issues can lead to future problems like damage to nearby teeth, increased risk for bacterial infection, difficulty cleaning your teeth, cyst formation and much more.

If you are experiencing any of the following, or your dentist believes you’re at an increased risk for any of the following, they may recommend wisdom teeth removal.

  • Infection
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Tumors
  • Cysts
  • Damage to neighboring teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay

Also, if wisdom teeth will or may affect your ability to receive other necessary dental care like braces, your dentist may suggest they be removed. Even if you are at low-risk, your dentist will likely recommend regular monitoring to catch any potential problems before they develop.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth surgery is very straightforward and is painless during the operation. For the surgery, you will be given a type of anesthesia, be it local, IV or general anesthesia, that will either completely numb your mouth or put you to sleep for the operation. The surgeon will then remove the incoming wisdom teeth and you will be sent to a recovery room. If they had to cut the gums to access the teeth, you may have a couple small stitches that will dissolve in a couple of days.

Most patients are given a ride home after they wake up after surgery. You will likely have some minor discomfort for the first few days after surgery, but that can be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers or a prescription for more major cases. You’ll be on a soft food diet for the first couple days (pasta, soups, etc.) and should avoid crunchy foods or drinking out of a straw, as these can lead to the opening of a blood clot and a dry socket. Full recovery only takes a couple weeks on average.