No one likes to think about getting a tooth extraction, but unfortunately, getting a tooth removed is the most common surgical procedure in the United States. This means that over the course of your life, you will most likely have to get a tooth extracted if not many. Tooth extractions can happen for a number of reasons, such as trauma or infection. When it comes to your wisdom teeth, however, these pesky molars can have a mind of their own.
What are Wisdom Teeth
Your wisdom teeth are actually your fourth set of adult molars. These molars typically grow between the ages of 17 and 25, but the process of them coming in is rarely a smooth one.
When a wisdom tooth, or all four, begins to grow they can crowd the rest of your teeth. This can lead your wisdom teeth to turn sideways. When this happens, the wisdom teeth become “impacted”. An impacted wisdom tooth is one that is slanted to the side or turned completed on its side without ever breaking through the gum line. These types of wisdom teeth are the ones that can cause the most issues.
As an impacted wisdom tooth grows, it can break open the gum and cause tenderness and even infection.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
A fortunate few people end up having wisdom teeth that grow straight and cause little to no issues in their mouths. Sadly, the majority of us will have to deal with the removal of these molars. There are a few ways to know whether or not it is time for extraction.
- X-Rays. At your regular dental visit, our team at Premier Dental Center Seguin will take updated x-rays. To get a good look at your wisdom teeth, we take what is called “Panorama X-Rays”. This gives us a full image of your mouth from side to side. These x-rays will show whether or not your wisdom teeth are growing straight or if they are impacted. You may have wisdom teeth issues without ever knowing or having symptoms.
- Tenderness or Swelling of the Gums. As your wisdom teeth grow, even straight, they can put pressure on the gums. As they do this, you will notice an increase in pain and swelling in the back of your mouth. This can eventually lead to infection and even gum diseases.
- Loose Teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth grow sideways into other molars. This can force the molars in your mouth to become loose. If you notice this, there is a good chance you need to get the wisdom teeth removed.
After you get your wisdom teeth removed, your dental surgeon will provide you with aftercare instructions. It is very important to keep the area clean from bacteria and be sure not to use straws or tobacco. These can cause dry socket, which is when a blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed. This can be extremely painful and will require emergency dental care.
For your comfort, avoid foods that cause sensitivity or that are difficult to chew. For the first few days after tooth extraction, we recommend soft foods like mashed potatoes, jello, pudding, or soup.
Trust the Dentists in a Modern Office
We hope you are already one of our patients, but if you aren’t, we encourage you to become one! We offer new patients an initial exam, set of x-rays, and cleaning for just $59.
If you have concerns about your wisdom teeth, our experienced dentists can determine if it is time for tooth extraction. If it is, our team is committed to giving you a comfortable and relaxed experience. We offer sedation and relaxation options to help the process be easy and nearly pain-free. Please schedule an appointment with us today and let us help you get on track for better dental health.