Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal is usually recommended when the teeth are impacted or partially impacted and causing discomfort. Pulling teeth is a major decision. Our dentists make saving your teeth comfortable and affordable, however if saving your tooth is not an option and you need to have your tooth extracted our dentists are highly experienced and trained to provide your treatment safely with care and comfort.
Wisdom Tooth Pain
Wisdom teeth, or 3rd molars, are the last teeth to form, develop and appear, or at least try to appear in your mouth around the age of 16-25. Most of the times, especially when they are partially erupted the gum tissue around them are loose and flappy, Plaque, bacteria, and food debris hide in the flappy tissue around wisdom teeth causing decay, inflammation, infection, periodontal disease and pain. If you develop pain often around your wisdom teeth it may be advisable to see a dentist to rule out decay or gum infection (pericoronitis) requiring a filling or antibiotics, and a plan to remove your wisdom teeth thus taking care of the problem for life.
Our best advice is to visit your dental care provider or one of our experienced dentists. In the meantime you can reduce the incidence of minor pains associated with your wisdom teeth eruption by keeping the area clean and regularly irrigate the area with salt and warm water and keep plaque and food debris out.
Our experienced and gentle dentists are here to check your teeth in order to make sure that your wisdom tooth pain is not caused by actual gum infection that may require antibiotics.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The severity of the symptoms you may have after removal of your wisdom teeth depends on the extent of surgical procedure and bone removal necessary to remove the teeth. It also depends on whether the wisdom teeth are soft tissue or bony impaction. In general after a wisom tooth is removed you may have the following:
- Pain and swelling in your gums and tooth socket where the tooth was removed.
- Mild bleeding that may continue for about 24 hours.
- Limitation in opening your mouth (trismus).
- Possible dry socket specially lower jaw.
Wisdom Teeth Removal After Care
- For the first hour bite gently but firmly on the gauze pack that has been placed over the socket of the teeth that were removed. Do not change them for the first 1-2 hours unless the bleeding is not controlled. Remember a drop of blood mixed with saliva may seem like a lot of bleeding; rapidly changing of gauze pack can actually slow down blood clotting.
- Apply Ice pack to the face over the surgical site immediately after the surgical procedure is completed to reduce bleeding and swelling.
- Bleeding should never be severe, if so you should contact your dentist, but most probably the cause is that the gauze pack is not on the correct area and the pressure is not being applied to the actual surgical site.
- For the first 24 hours, do not brush the area or rinse your mouth vigorously, be gentle and do not disturb the surgical site to allow blood clot to form and harden.
- After the first 24 hours brush and keep your mouth clean, rinse your mouth with salt and warm water (mix 1 tsp of salt with 8 ounces of warm water) 3-4 times a day. If the surgery is extensive your dentist may prescribe an anti-microbial rinse (chlorohexidine) to rinse with. If that is the case follow your dentist’s instruction.
- Do not smoke during the healing; smoking reduces blood flow to the area that is necessary for clot formation and healing. Loss of blood clot is a major cause of dry socket which can be extremely painful and is a sign of Osteitis. It usually occurs after the 3rd day and needs a special treatment regimen. If your pain is getting worse instead of better 3-4 days after pulling your wisdom teeth contact your dentist.
- Avoid heavy exercise, bending your head, lifting weight, etc…
- Do not use straws; eat soft nutritious food that can be taken comfortably and with a spoon (milk shake, smoothies) avoid food with high temperature which can cause more bleeding.
- It’s usual to have some degree of pain and discomfort after oral surgery procedures which are usually controlled by prescribed pain medication. It’s helpful to take the first dose of your pain medication before the local anesthetic wears off. If Tylenol and Ibuprofen is not relieving your pain you may contact your dentist for a stronger pain medication if there are no contraindications in your specific case.
- Nausea and vomiting can occur as a result of pre-operative anxiety, swallowed blood, discomfort, anesthesia or pain medications. Taking a strong pain medication on an empty stomach can cause nausea. Post-operative nausea can be relieved by sipping on flat soft drinks and ginger ale. If nausea persists contact your dentist, you may also try and substitute your strong pain medication with an over the counter medication.
- Keep your post-operative appointments for follow up, post operative check or suture removal ( your dentist may or may not feel the need to place any sutures to the surgical site ). Keep any sutures placed clean until your dentist removes them at your follow up appointments.
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