Is your wisdom tooth giving you trouble?

Because the wisdom teeth come in pretty late in your life- by that time the remaining 28 teeth are already out- it has less space to grow out properly. The result- the wisdom tooth emerges at an angle or gets stuck, so you have a wisdom tooth that’s not fully grown! This is called wisdom tooth impaction.

There are several wisdom tooth impaction types.

  • The teeth may not be able to break through the gums at all.
  • They may emerge at an angle.
  • The wisdom tooth may break  halfway through your gums, causing gum tissue to grow over them
  • Impacted teeth, in turn may lead to further infection or damage to the adjacent teeth or bones.

Why it should be removed

Your wisdom tooth may need to be removed if it’s causing you pain or giving you trouble. It is suggested that until an impacted tooth starts paining or troubling, you needn’t touch it.

However, if your impacted wisdom tooth grows at an awkward angle, there’s a chance that food particles get trapped around the edge of the wisdom tooth. Bacteria in your teeth then react with these food particles to form plaque, that eventually erodes your wisdom tooth, and can also damage the good teeth adjacent to it. If such is the case, it is better to go for a dental surgery.

When it should be removed

If you experience discomfort with your wisdom tooth, consult the dentist immediately. While cavities or hollow spaces can be temporarily filled up, wisdom tooth removal is the ultimate recourse. Your dentist will best decide what to do. If the discomfort is neglected it can lead to other dental problems like dental caries, gum disease, cysts, pericoronitis, cellulitis, osteomyelitis or benign growths.

How the wisdom tooth is removed

Because an impacted tooth will require your dentist to cut into the gums, removal is not mere extraction- it is oral surgery. However, there should be absolutely no reason to worry. You will be given a local anesthetic injection that numbs your senses. Your dentist may need to cut into the gum and/or break it into smaller pieces to make it easy to remove. All you might feel is some pressure as the dentist tries to pull out your bad tooth, by rocking it back and forth. The time taken varies and you may experience some pain, bleeding and swelling post-surgery. But they are normal and subside within a week with some medication.  Sometimes, the discomfort t may last a longer time- if even after a fortnight, your pain persists, consult your dentist.

Wisdom tooth extraction: After care

  • Clench the cotton between your jaws till one hour after extraction.
  • Don’t spit or talk until 1 hour after extraction.
  • Have ice-creams, juice, liquid diet or bread and milk on the day of your surgery.
  • Stay away from hot and spicy foods for a few days. Do not sip on any drink with a straw, it may loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
  • Unless otherwise directed, have regular food from the next day of extraction.
  • If bleeding doesn’t stop after 24 hours of surgery, call your dentist.
  • Don’t touch the area with your finger or tongue.
  • Try applying ice pack on the outside of your cheek
  • After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm water and salt, several times during the day.
  • Don’t smoke for at least 1 day after surgery.
  • Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully- maintain oral hygiene to avoid infection.

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