What are wisdom teeth?
In each quadrant of your mouth, you have three molars that come in throughout your adolescence and early adulthood. Wisdom teeth are the third molars to come in, typically around the age of 17 to 21 years.
Why do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
In many cases, the third molars in the back of your mouth don’t have room to grow properly and can cause problems for your other teeth and jaw. They can grow at odd angles, causing pressure on the other teeth. In other cases, they only partially emerge through the gums or don’t emerge at all. Wisdom teeth that don’t emerge normally can become trapped within your jaw. If they only partially emerge, they can create a passageway that become a magnet for bacteria that cause infection and gum disease.
When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
In general, it’s best to have wisdom teeth taken out between ages 16 and 22, At that age, the formation of the root of your wisdom teeth is not complete, so extraction is much easier.
Can I eat something before my surgery?
If you are going to be sedated for the oral surgeryprocedure, you should not eat or drink anything at least six hours before your surgery. If your surgery only requires local anesthesia, you can eat and drink normally beforehand.
What do I do after surgery?
You’ll have a gauze pad placed over the surgical area that should remain for half an hour. After that, remove the gauze and throw it away. You should avoid rinsing your mouth or touching the area and take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you’re feeling discomfort. Keep activities to a minimum and resume normal activity when you’re comfortable. No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day especially after eating with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.
What if there’s bleeding?
A certain amount of bleeding is typical. If it becomes excessive, rinse old clots from your mouth and then place a gauze pad over the area and bite firmly for thirty minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid from the tea helps form blood clots by contracting your blood vessels. If bleeding continues after this point, call the office.
What is a dry socket?
A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. If you have pain at the site or pain in the ear 2-3 days after surgery, call the office immediately.