Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that come through in the teenage years or early adulthood. Many people don’t have space for them, or they come through misaligned and require removal.
Sometimes the wisdom
teeth stay impacted – they stay within the soft tissue and/or jawbone, or they may partially erupt and then stop. Partially erupted wisdom teeth allow bacteria to enter, which causes infection, leading to swelling, pain, stiffness and illness. They are also prone to decay because brushing and flossing of partially erupted teeth are difficult.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
The position and development stage of your wisdom teeth affects how easily your wisdom teeth can be removed. If the wisdom tooth has fully erupted through the gum, it can be taken out the same way as any other tooth. If it is still fully or partially under the gum and embedded in the jaw bone, it requires an incision into the gum. In this case, the tooth is often extracted in small sections rather than whole, to reduce the amount of bone needed to be removed.
The speed of your recovery depends on how difficult it was to remove the tooth from your jawbone.
First 24 hours
- Bleeding may occur for several hours
- There will be facial swelling in the area that the tooth was extracted
- Pain medications can be taken
- Antibiotics that may have been prescribed must be taken
- Stick to a liquid diet until the anesthesia wears off, and then stick to a soft food diet for a few days
- Keep brushing your teeth but keep clear of the teeth in around the extraction site.
After 24 hours
- Treat facial swelling in the area with heat after the first 24 hours of ice, using a moist warm towel to the area for 20 minutes
- Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water
- If you have stitches and they aren’t self-dissolving, they need to be removed by a professional.
- Keep an eye out for signs of dry socket