“Have you had your wisdom teeth removed?” It’sIt’s a question that pops up from time to time. But what’s the big deal? If they don’tdon’t hurt or aren’taren’t causing problems, you might think the procedure is a waste of time. However, this is far from the truth.
Here, we’ll explain the benefits of removing your wisdom teeth, when and why you need to, and a procedure breakdown.
When Not to Remove
Let’sLet’s address this first. Some rare cases where wisdom teeth do not need to be removed. Of course, this should only happen with the approval of a dental professional. Only decide to skip the procedure if you have the express permission of your dentist.
Our dentist can help determine if you can keep your wisdom teeth. They might approve the previous procedure if the following conditions are met:
- The wisdom teeth are healthy.
- They can grow ultimately and not press on the gums.
- They are positioned correctly without impacting surrounding teeth.
- They bite properly with their opposing teeth.
- You can brush and floss them daily without struggle.
Most people, however, only meet some of these requirements.
When to Remove
Human jaws have slowly become smaller as we have evolved, leaving less and less room for teeth. Thus, our wisdom teeth, remnants of our past, no longer have room to grow as they were meant to. It causes many problems. Wisdom teeth that can grow and erupt without being removed can come out at various angles in the jaw. Sometimes, they will even grow horizontally.
It is, if they erupt at all. Some wisdom teeth do not even have room to emerge. It means that they become trapped/impacted within the jaw. It can result in an infection or a cyst. These can easily cause damage to other teeth, roots or the bone support in your jaw.
If the teeth have a little room to emerge, they will. But, they usually are only able to emerge partially. It often occurs in the back of the mouth and is extremely difficult to clean. The passageway of the partially grown wisdom teeth is perfect for bacteria that cause gum disease and infections.
No matter how they emerge, if at all, wisdom teeth crowd the other teeth nearby. It makes the rest of your mouth more challenging to clean. Their growth could even damage some of the surrounding teeth.
Dentists will recommend removal if they observe the following symptoms:
- Impacted teeth
- Damage to nearby back teeth
- Extensive tooth decay
- Repeated infection of the tissue behind the last lower tooth
Other factors that play a role in removal are age, the mouth’smouth’s shape, and the teeth ‘ position.
Why Should I Remove?
The above examples are the main problems of leaving your wisdom teeth in. There are also future problems that could lead to a lower quality of life and life expectancy overall. Some additional issues that can result include:
Wisdom teeth can cause jaw damage. It is caused by the cysts that form around the impacted teeth. The cysts can hollow out your jaw and cause extreme nerve damage in these cases. The damage can get to the point where you’ll be unable to chew correctly.
Sinus Pressure, Pain, and Infection
The mouth and nose are both connected through the same system. That means that one being injured affects the other. Leaving your wisdom teeth in and they begin to cause problems can lead to sinus pain, pressure, and constant congestion.
Cavities are frequent visitors to those who did not get their wisdom teeth removed. The swollen gums with frequent infections are perfect beds for bacteria to grow and flourish.
Even if your dentist says that your wisdom teeth are healthy and alright, it is still good to remove them because when you get older, the bones in your mouth get harder, which makes teeth more challenging to remove if you end up waiting too long, surgery could become the only solution.
What Should I Know About the Procedure?
Know that the procedure is not painful. A professional will always use proper anesthesia or put you under. At most, you should only feel pressure/pushing but no pain. Communication is most important, so if you feel pain, let your dentist know.
The procedure itself is straightforward. A small incision will be made in the gum to access the wisdom tooth, or the dentist will start right where it has erupted. In both cases, the surgeon will cut the tooth into smaller parts to make removing it easier. Most procedures take about 20 minutes but could take longer if your wisdom teeth are more complicated.
Afterwards, dissolving stitches are used to seal the gum. You might be prescribed antibiotics if you have an ongoing infection.
For 24 hours, you should avoid rinsing your mouth with liquid, smoking, drinking alcohol, hot foods and liquids, and strenuous physical activity. Your jaw and mouth will feel numb until the anesthesia wears off. You might feel soreness or dull pain after it wears off, but the doctor will probably prescribe pain medication.
After the surgery, take it easy for 7 to 10 days. Be careful with what you eat, and stick to soft foods that won’twon’t irritate your stitches. Easy foods include smoothies, hummus, applesauce, and mashed potatoes.
You should schedule a follow-up after completing the healing process, so our dentist can check your progress. This way, you get the all-clear before returning to your regular schedule.
If you have yet to get your wisdom teeth removed and you know it’s time, give us a call at Valley Ridge Dental Centre today. Our friendly staff is here to ensure you feel comfortable throughout the procedure. Contact our NW Calgary dental clinic today.