The wisdom teeth are the last to grow inside your mouth. They constitute the last molars found at the back of the mouth. The growing of wisdom teeth sometimes causes discomfort for many people. When one experiences discomfort or pain in their mouth, they will visit a dentist to establish the cause of it. After examining you, your dentist may suggest the removal or extraction of your wisdom tooth, and sometimes all of them. Finding an experienced dentist that will identify the problem and can extract it is crucial to overcome the discomfort. At Ganji Dental, we have years of experience in removing wisdom teeth and identifying other dental challenges.

Why You Need to Get Your Wisdom Tooth Removed

Typically, a wisdom tooth begins to grow when one is 17 years to 25 years. A surgical procedure is used in removing a wisdom tooth. A dentist or a surgeon can remove the tooth when it causes problems.

Most people get their wisdom tooth removed due to various reasons. Some of these are:

  • When the tooth is impacted – Because a wisdom tooth is placed far back in the mouth, in many cases, it does not grow normally. In some cases, the tooth gets trapped in the gum or jawbone, causing you excruciating pain.
  • Growing at the wrong angle – Sometimes your wisdom tooth as it grows it comes at the wrong angle, pressing on your existing teeth. When the tooth grows at an incorrect edge, it may grow facing backward in your mouth or at an angle to your other teeth. This can cause misalignment that makes it essential to remove the tooth.
  • When your mouth is small – Sometimes your mouth is little with no room for more teeth. When this is the case, you must get the wisdom teeth removed to leave adequate space for your other teeth.
  • When you have gum disease or cavities – sometimes it is challenging to reach your wisdom tooth to clean it. As a result, it may develop a cavity or gum disease. Due to this, it becomes necessary to remove the tooth as a way of treatment.

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Wisdom teeth do not serve any vital role for a person. This means you may not care whether you have wisdom teeth or not. Unfortunately, when they get impacted, you will notice their presence where you never did before. There are two main symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth. These are:

  • Infection and swelling – when you have an impacted wisdom tooth, it is likely you will notice significant swelling, pain, and even an infection. The situation must get treated as soon as possible to avoid infecting other teeth. If untreated, the neighboring teeth and gums will get a disease, not to mention the underlying bone. Removing impacted wisdom teeth is also not easy and can leave you with significant risks following the surgery. In some cases, a patient can experience permanent damage to their adjacent teeth or bone. When left untreated for long, it may result in a harder to treat bacterial infection.
  • Pain – this is a common symptom of an impacted wisdom tooth. When the wisdom tooth is unable to emerge to the surface, you will begin feeling pain at a particular place. Some of the signs that your tooth is impacted include tenderness and pain to the jaw, swelling and redness of the gums, bad taste in the mouth, and foul breath. Although rare, tumors can also form. When you develop tumors and cysts, you can end up getting permanent damage to the underlying bone or jaw and adjacent teeth. When you experience severe pain at the back of your mouth, it is crucial to see a dentist and get examined.

Various Kinds of Impactions

There are multiple ways your wisdom tooth can get impacted. In knowing how an X-ray gets carried out to show the impaction and its location. This X-ray is vital in guiding the dentist on how to perform the surgery to avoid damaging nerves. Some of the various impactions are:

  • Full-bony impaction – this is the most challenging impaction to remove because the tooth is deeply positioned in the jaw and stuck. To remove this tooth, the patient may require general anesthesia and longer hours for the procedure.
  • Partial –bony impaction – this is when the wisdom tooth is not completely stuck in the jaw but still must get extracted.
  • Soft-tissue impaction – this is when the wisdom tooth is stuck just underneath the gum. Because of its position, it is less complicated to remove.
  • Erupted –this type of wisdom tooth is exposed above the gum, and due to its visibility, it is easy to extract it.

Problems you Experience when your Wisdom Tooth is Impacted

When your wisdom tooth gets impacted, you do not have to remove it if it causes you no problems. However, the most impacted one will cause you the following issues making it necessary to extract it. These are:

  • An impacted tooth will cause you to experience pain anytime
  • When the tooth gets impacted, it will trap debris and food at its back, which can lead to the buildup of plaque that causes tooth decay or periodontal disease.
  • An impacted tooth can result in one suffering from a periodontal disease
  • An impacted tooth can get decayed
  • When a wisdom tooth gets impacted, it may result in damages to the adjacent tooth or the bone around
  • An impacted wisdom tooth can result in the developing of cysts around it
  • When a wisdom tooth gets impacted, it will result in complications when trying to straighten your other teeth

Extraction to Prevent Future Dental Challenges

Sometimes a wisdom tooth may not be posing challenges presently but does in the future. Some dentists advise on extracting your wisdom tooth to prevent future problems. Extracting an impacted wisdom tooth is crucial in preventing the development of other complications. The rationale behind this procedure is that:

  • Even when an impacted wisdom tooth has no symptoms, it can still carry diseases
  • When your mouth is small meaning, there is a lack of sufficient space for the eruption of the tooth, and it is difficult to reach the tooth to clean it well
  • When one is younger, they may not experience severe problems with their wisdom tooth as when they get older
  • When a person is older, it may be challenging to extract the tooth because of the after surgery complications.

Risk Factors in Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Many of the extractions of wisdom teeth do not lead to extended complications. However, removing impacted wisdom teeth needs a surgical procedure involving the creation of incisions on the gum. When the incision gets done, the tooth is removed through it. Some of the complications one can experience include:

  • You can develop a dry and painful socket. Exposure of the bone may also happen when the blood clot post-surgery disappears from the surgical cavity.
  • The socket can get infected by bacteria from the trapped debris or food particles
  • During surgery, there may be damage to the nerves, sinuses, jawbone, or adjacent teeth.

Getting Ready for the Extraction

When the wisdom tooth is not profoundly impacted, the procedure of extracting it can get carried out from the dental office. However, when the tooth is impacted deeply, a dental surgeon is best placed to remove it. The area is usually made numb using local anesthesia, but sedation may get recommended to get you more comfortable.

As you get ready, there are important questions that you need to be answered by your surgeon. These are:

  • How many of the wisdom teeth does your surgeon want to remove?
  • Ask your dentist the kind of anesthesia to be used
  • Ask about the level of complication of the surgical procedure
  • Ask your surgeon the time the procedure will take to complete
  • Ask if the impacted tooth has resulted in the damage of the adjacent teeth
  • Ask if there exists a risk to your nerves getting damaged
  • Ask if you will later need other dental treatments
  • Ask the time it will take to recover from the surgery and get back to your daily activities.

Most wisdom tooth extractions are outpatient procedures, meaning the patient gets to go home after the procedure instead of staying at the clinic. The clinic or hospital staff will instruct you on what needs to be done. This is before the procedure, as well as on the specific day of the surgery. Some of the questions you need to ask include:

  • Find out if you will need to get another person to take you home
  • Find out the time to come to the hospital or dental office
  • Find out if you need to fast and when your fast should start
  • Find out if you can take your prescription medicine before the surgery and if you can, how long before should you take
  • If you have been taking nonprescription drugs, find out if you should stop them before the surgery

It is advisable to disclose everything about your health, and if you have any underlying medical conditions before scheduling the surgery. Exposing everything about your health aids in ensuring you get exposed to minimum risks during the procedure.

What to Expect

When you are undergoing a procedure that you have never experienced before, it is essential to know what to expect. 

During the surgery, your surgeon will use any of the following anesthesia. However, the type of anesthesia will depend on how complicated the extraction of the tooth will be and how comfortable you will be:

  • Local anesthesia – this gets administered through injection. Before getting the injection, your surgeon will apply a numbing substance to the gums to ensure they are numb. The injection with the anesthesia is then used to ensure you will not feel pain during the procedure. As the process gets carried out, you remain awake. You will not feel pain; however, you will experience movement and pressure.
  • Sedation anesthesia – this type of anesthesia is administered through the IV or intravenous line in the hand. As the procedure proceeds, you will not experience pain, nor will you remember the process. Before this, local anesthesia gets applied to make the gums numb.
  • General anesthesia – this type of anesthesia is offered when special situations call for it. This is administered by inhaling the medication or through the use of an intravenous line. After losing consciousness, the doctors constantly monitor how you breathe and your temperature as well as your blood pressure. The procedure begins, and you will feel no pain or have a recollection of the surgery. Sometimes local anesthesia is administered to help with any discomfort post the operation.

During the procedure, your surgeon will:

  • Create an incision on the gum that exposes the bone and tooth
  • He or she will remove the bone blocking the tooth
  • He or she may divide the wisdom tooth into various pieces to make it easier to extract them
  • Proceeds to extract the tooth
  • Your surgeon then cleans the area and removes any particles from the bone or tooth
  • The wound or incision gets closed to enhance the speed of healing.
  • Gauze is then placed over the area of the extraction to help form a blood clot and prevent more bleeding.

After the surgical procedure:

When you have been given general or sedation anesthesia, you will go to a particular room for recovery after surgery. If you were given local anesthesia, you could recover while at the dental seat. As you recover from the procedure, you must adhere to the instructions from your dentist. These may include:

  • Bleeding – following the extraction of the wisdom tooth, some blood may still ooze after the surgery. You will be advised to avoid spitting excessively to prevent dislodging the clot already formed at the socket. Remember to replace the gauze as recommended by the dentist at the site of extraction.
  • Pain – you may experience pain at the point of extraction once the anesthesia wears off. You can, however, use over the counter medication to manage your pain. However, you can ask your surgeon to prescribe some pain medication before you leave the clinic. The dentist or surgeon is better placed to give you the best medicine, mainly if a bone got extracted during the surgery. You can also hold ice on your jaw to act as a pain reliever.
  • Bruising and swelling – these are common following the surgery. You can use an ice pack to help bring the swelling down. In a few days, the swelling will improve and sometimes even disappear altogether. On the other hand, the bruising can take slightly longer to heal.
  • Activities – following the surgery, it is best to stay away from activities that may aggravate your pain, especially on that day. You can resume some of your activities the day after your surgery but only light activities. After a week, you can now return to your normal activities.
  • Beverages – Following the surgery, your dentist will advise you to take plenty of water. However, caffeinated, alcoholic, hot, and carbonated drinks are discouraged for the first day after surgery. Avoid drinking anything using a straw in the first week to prevent the dislodging of the formed blood clot on the wound.
  • Food – after the surgery, you must avoid hard foods. The first day after surgery will call for you to eat soft or semi-solid foods. Chewy, spicy, and hot foods must also be avoided because they irritate the socket or wound and can get stuck there.
  • Cleaning – during the first day after surgery, do not brush. Instead, rinse with water and spit or a mouthwash. After 24 hours, it is safe to go back to cleaning the teeth gently, especially around the wound. Use warm, salty water to rinse your mouth after brushing and also every two hours. To avoid food particles from getting stuck at the socket, rinse the mouth after each meal with warm and salty water.
  • Use of Tobacco – smokers are discouraged from smoking for a minimum of 72 hours following the surgery. If you can avoid smoking even for a more extended period, it is better for your recovery. The use of tobacco products following oral surgery typically delays the healing process and increases complications in healing.
  • Stitches – most dentists will use self-dissolving stitches. If you need to have your stitches removed, however, scheduling an appointment for this is essential.

When to Consult your Dentist after a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

After surgery, the expectation is to have a complication-free healing process. Unfortunately, complications can arise that may make it necessary to go back to your surgeon or dentist. Some of the below symptoms may be an indication that your nerve has been damaged. It may also be an indication that there is an infection or another complication. These are:

  • When you experience, difficulties breathing or swallowing
  • When you continue bleeding excessively even a day after surgery
  • When you experience fever
  • When you continue to experience excruciating pain despite taking pain killers
  • When the swelling does not come down after three days, but instead it increases
  • You experience a bad taste in the mouth despite rinsing with warm salty water
  • When you notice pus coming from the wound
  • When you continue to feel numb or lose feeling
  • When your nasal discharge is of pus or blood

Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Many people have had their wisdom teeth removed for one reason or another. Wisdom teeth serve no important function, but instead, tend to cause discomfort in some people. There are many benefits to removing your wisdom teeth, and some of these are:

Increasing Space in Your Mouth

The growth and eruption of your wisdom teeth overcrowd your dentition. This often damages the adjacent molars, for they have no sufficient space to grow well. When the mouth gets filled due to the growth of wisdom teeth, alignment problems arise over time. Your teeth start getting pushed out slowly, and in no time, you have a bigger problem. Extracting your wisdom tooth creates more space for your teeth to get correctly aligned and enhance your smile.

Avoids Damaging Adjacent Teeth

Wisdom teeth, when growing, create a lot of pressure on the adjacent teeth weakening them and their roots. Wisdom teeth also grind against the enamel of the other teeth, leaving them susceptible to bone loss and cavities. Cleaning wisdom teeth is also challenging because they are hard to reach and keep them sufficiently clean. When not well cleaned, they expose you to numerous challenges that will be costly to correct. Removing your impacted wisdom tooth will spare you the cost of treatment and dealing with painful root canal issues and fillings.

Decreases the Probability of Oral Diseases

The pestilence associated with wisdom teeth makes it more likely for one to develop gum diseases and dental cavities, especially when the tooth is impacted. One of the common consequences of having an impacted wisdom tooth is having your gums inflamed. This can be challenging to treat, and the infections can go deep to affect your nerves and even bloodstream. This creates a sepsis condition that may affect the rest of you. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that should be avoided, and one can do that by extracting their impacted wisdom tooth.

Lessens Orofacial Pain

Aside from the extraction preventing cavities and other diseases, extraction of wisdom teeth helps ease discomfort in the mouth. Removal of the wisdom tooth will help alleviate pressure, reduce the sensitivity of the gums and that of the other teeth. This results in an improved way of life cut limitations on the foods to take and drinks to enjoy. The pressure one gets by having wisdom teeth increases chronic headaches, and their extraction dramatically reduces this.

Prevention of Tumors, Damage to the Jaws and Cysts

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. This, in most cases, leads to the development of tumors and cysts that attack the jawbone resulting in excruciating pain. When this happens, you will need to seek treatment from a Temporomandibular specialist.

Find a Hawthorne Dentist Near Me

The discomfort of having an impacted wisdom tooth can disrupt your life in many ways. Getting it removed helps restore your comfort and the joy of life. However, finding an experienced dentist that understands the impact it has on you is critical. At Ganji Dental, we have years of experience extracting impacted wisdom teeth and we can do the same for you. When you suspect you have an impacted wisdom tooth, reach us at 310-643-8045 and schedule an appointment with us.