wisdom teeth

5 Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Need Removal

Wisdom tooth removal is a dental procedure that can often cause patients to feel some level of dental anxiety. It is a common occurrence that removing a wisdom tooth can come with a few days of uncomfortable symptoms, so if an extraction can be avoided, we will always make alternate recommendations.

While many people end up needing to remove their wisdom teeth for a variety of reasons, it’s important to know that you don’t always have to remove them. In fact, some people never experience any issues with these third molars.

However, if you’re noticing any of the five following signs, then you might consider booking a consultation for wisdom tooth removal with Dr. Steven Chavez at Blue Line Dental.

1. Pain

If you’re experiencing pain in the back of the mouth, it may be caused by your wisdom teeth. Sometimes, the pain is caused by the wisdom tooth erupting, in which case it will most likely come and go until the tooth fully emerges from the gums.

However, wisdom teeth are notoriously hard to clean due to their location in the back of the mouth, which means they have a high risk of developing cavities and even becoming infected. A toothache in the back of the mouth may be a sign that your wisdom tooth needs to be treated with root canal therapy, or even removed altogether.

2. Bleeding and Inflammation

Wisdom teeth can also cause inflammation and minor bleeding when they erupt. You may notice your gums are looking a bit redder and even slightly swollen, which could be painful when you brush your teeth or even while you are eating.

If you notice that your saliva has a slightly pinkish hue, this is usually a sign of minor bleeding. While inflammation and light bleeding are not signs that something is necessarily wrong, they can be uncomfortable enough that many patients choose to reach out to their dentist for a solution.

3. Head, Ear, or Jaw Pain

Because of their position in the back of the mouth, near the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), wisdom teeth can also lead to painful sensations outside the mouth.

It’s not uncommon for patients to develop headaches, earaches, and stiffness or pain in their jaw, especially when speaking or chewing. In these cases, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist for immediate attention, as your wisdom teeth may be to blame for putting too much pressure on your jaw.

4. Tooth Alignment Issues

A common consequence of a growing wisdom tooth is overcrowded teeth. Even if wisdom teeth do not have any room left to erupt in the mouth, they will still try to make their way through the jaw, even if it means pushing the other teeth closer together and creating alignment issues.

These alignment issues can manifest as overcrowded or crooked teeth, and you may notice some soreness or sensitivity as a result as the rest of your teeth shift to accommodate the newly erupting wisdom teeth. The only way to stop this misalignment from happening is to remove the problematic wisdom teeth entirely. 

In some instances, your dentist will be able to determine if your wisdom teeth are going to cause alignment issues before they begin to erupt, and can remove them as a preventative measure.

5. Impacted Wisdom Tooth, or Improper Direction

Sometimes, a wisdom tooth may become trapped beneath the gum line, leaving it unable to fully erupt. In other cases, wisdom teeth will grow in at an improper angle, causing them to put even more pressure on your jaw or other teeth. For patients who experience these symptoms, these are clear cases in which the tooth, or teeth, require an extraction to maintain your oral health and comfort.

Do any of these signs feel familiar? If so, Dr. Steven Chavez is happy to inspect your teeth and gums, and recommend the best course of action.

Book an appointment at Blue Line Dental today, and find out if you need your wisdom teeth removed!

Have Questions About Wisdom Teeth Extractions? Find Answers Here!

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are teeth that grow in the back of the mouth, most often between the ages of 17 and 21, but sometimes as early as 13 or as late as 25 years of age. Some people’s wisdom teeth never grow in at all, and others experience no oral health issues as their wisdom teeth erupt. However, many people simply don’t have room in their mouth for another set of molars, and as their wisdom teeth develop, they experience crowding, pain, or even increased risk of infection. 

What is the wisdom tooth extraction process like?

Depending on your case, wisdom tooth extraction can take several different forms.

If your wisdom teeth fully erupt, the removal process can be similar to a standard tooth extraction. You’ll be numbed with a local anesthetic, and offered additional sedation options. Each tooth will be gently loosened with specialized tools and removed from the socket. 

However, if your wisdom teeth become impacted, or unable to erupt, a surgical extraction will likely be required. While this may sound scary, there is nothing to fear! In addition to local anesthesia, we offer additional sedation options, so you can stay comfortable during the procedure. 

As soon as you are comfortably numb, we will make an incision in the gum to expose the crown of the wisdom tooth. We will then divide the tooth into several smaller pieces, and remove them from the socket. Once all pieces of the tooth have been removed, we will then suture the site and place sterile gauze in the socket to aid in the formation of a blood clot.

What is the healing process like after wisdom tooth removal?

After your wisdom teeth have been extracted, it’s important to follow all of your dentist’s instructions to ensure a successful recovery. In addition to taking it easy for a few days and refraining from any vigorous physical activity, you will want to avoid any hard, crunchy, chewy, or sticky foods. Stick to a soft food diet, for a few days, and avoid drinking from a straw; the suction can dislodge the blood clot and lead to a painful condition known as dry socket. Refrain from smoking, (as the suction motion can have the same effect as drinking through as straw), and avoid other tobacco products as well, because the chemicals present can delay the healing process and lead to an infection. 

After the first day, you can begin to brush your teeth, but avoid brushing directly on the extraction site for about a week, again to avoid dislodging the blood clot. After a few days, any pain or swelling should subside, but in the meantime, cold compresses and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, or another medication prescribed by your dentist, can help you stay comfortable. 

After two weeks, you should be fully recovered, but keep in touch with your dentist if you are experiencing any lingering pain.

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