When you talk about your wisdom teeth, you may find that many others wince in sympathy. Some people never have any trouble with these late-emerging molars. However, many of us will have impacted wisdom teeth that cause a variety of problems. Removal of troublesome wisdom teeth will prevent or relieve symptoms.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your third and last set of molars. You have them in your top and bottom jaw, and in many cases, your mouth does not have enough room for them to emerge normally. They usually start to appear in your teens or early twenties. In many cases, wisdom teeth become impacted. Instead of emerging as they should, they can become trapped in the jaw or grow at an angle.
How to Tell if Your Wisdom Teeth are Impacted
If you have regular dental appointments in your teens, your dentist may do an x-ray to check the position of your wisdom teeth and identify any potential problems. You may notice symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, including:
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Red, swollen area of the gums
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
Impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on their neighbors or the jawbone. They can also trap food particles, causing gum irritation and eventually tooth decay. An x-ray will allow your oral surgeon to determine the position of your wisdom teeth and the best way to remove them.
How are Impacted Wisdom Teeth Treated?
Since you do not need your wisdom teeth, impacted ones are treated by removing them. Wisdom teeth removal is a common experience during the teenage years. To remove impacted wisdom teeth, Dr. Sonneveld will usually perform the procedure with a local anesthetic or a sedative. The procedure for extracting each tooth will vary depending on its position in the jaw and how far it has emerged. Removing the teeth leaves empty spaces where the tooth used to be, which will be closed with sutures.
How Do I Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
You will be instructed to fast the night before your procedure. Arrive for your appointment with a clean mouth. You may want to stock up on things you will eat during your recovery so you do not have to go shopping for a few days. Dr. Sonneveld will tell you how much time you should plan to take off from work or school.
What is Recovery Like From Wisdom Teeth Removal?
You will have some discomfort and swelling during the first few days, and you should limit yourself to liquids and very soft foods. You can start to add more foods as you heal.
Many people can return to their daily routine in two to three days. The sutures will come out after a week. You can resume eating most foods at this time, but avoid sharp or hard items till your gums have fully healed.
Take the Next Step
If you have further questions about wisdom teeth, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at Faces Fort Worth. Call us at (817) 927-1818 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to taking care of you.