People tend to grow wisdom tooth usually between the ages of 18 and 21. The experience from person to person however varies. For some, they might not feel anything but for others, it might be unbearable pain. If the wisdom tooth is causing you pain or discomfort that is an obvious sign to get an appointment to have it removed. But there may be some cases in which you may not know what to do. What if there are no unfavorable conditions? Do you still remove them? We are here to help you. Here are some pros and cons of wisdom tooth removal.
Wisdom teeth don’t always fit perfectly behind your second set of molars. Research has shown that they grow in at an angle about 44 percent of the time. Should this happen, it can crowd the surrounding teeth or even grow roots into them. Not only does this misalign the adjacent teeth, but it also can trap food particles, debris, and plaque between the molars— ultimately leading to tooth decay. If this isn’t prevented with a preemptive removal of the wisdom teeth, you may require braces to fix the issue.
On many occasions, a wisdom tooth will only break partway through the gum, becoming partially or entirely trapped (also known as “impacted”). Not only can this be particularly painful, making your jaw feel stiff, but it can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Preemptive removal can spare you from the pain (and future dental visits) that result from an impacted tooth.
Wisdom teeth are complicated to access with your toothbrush and dental floss simply because of their location in the very back of your mouth. This means that, over time, these wisdom teeth can accumulate bacteria, acids, and food debris, leading to bad breath, cavities, and even infections in the gums. Removing the wisdom teeth means not having to deal with the inconvenience of caring for them!
There is some potential risk that comes with allowing your wisdom teeth to grow in. In addition to crowding and impacted teeth, you may also be at risk for cysts, gum disease, nerve damage, tooth decay, and infection. Your dentist will need to take regularly scheduled x-rays to monitor the wisdom teeth for weeks or even months closely to prevent any issues. Should these x-rays indicate any problems or begin developing painful symptoms from the conditions listed above, you may ultimately need to have the procedure anyway. By having a preemptive approach, you can eliminate these extra care costs – not to mention save yourself time!
One of the most common complications from wisdom teeth removal is an infection, particularly for tobacco users or patients over 26. However, being diligent about rinsing the affected area can help you to reduce this risk significantly. After the extraction, you will need to avoid drinking through a straw, spitting, and smoking, among other things, as this could cause a “dry socket.” In this condition, blood clots fail to form or fall out prematurely, leaving the socket open to bacteria and food. This can be very painful but will resolve after a few days.
If you have had any complications with anesthesia in the past, you must notify your dentist in advance. Your dentist will need to numb your mouth before extracting the tooth, so they must know if you have an allergy or other adverse reactions before having oral surgery.
You will likely experience some discomfort after removing the wisdom teeth. Most dentists will recommend using aspirin or ibuprofen for a few days to help you with the pain and control any swelling. They may also prescribe an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection that we mentioned earlier. Bleeding is inevitable after the surgery, so you will need to use gauze pads to reduce the bleeding. And remember: no smoking, drinking from straws, or spitting. A “dry socket” can make an already irritating recovery period much worse.
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