When visiting your dentist for a teeth cleaning, your dental care team may take digital X-rays to understand your overall oral health better and to determine whether you’re a candidate for wisdom teeth extraction. If you have questions about these teeth and how their eruption can impact your smile, below is some helpful information to review.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars located in the very back of your mouth. Unlike the rest of your teeth, these permanent molars tend to erupt when you’re an adult, hence the moniker “wisdom.” These teeth were essential for our ancestors who needed additional chewing power based on a diet of raw, coarse foods. Today, while many individuals have their wisdom teeth grow in without issue, others require extraction to avoid pain, shifting teeth, crowding, or infection.
What Signs Indicate You Need Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
When a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, it’s unable to properly erupt within your mouth due to the angle of growth or lack of room. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in a wide range of negative symptoms, including swollen gums, jaw pain, issues opening your mouth, swollen jaw, bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth due to infection, cysts, or decay. In this situation, extraction is highly recommended to maintain optimal oral health and prevent your teeth from shifting.
How Can You Promote Healing After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
During the extraction process, your dentist will administer anesthesia and a sedative to keep you calm. Next, they’ll make an incision in your gums, extract your wisdom teeth, cleanse the area, and stitch up the incision site.
After this procedure, taking a day or two to rest is encouraged. To promote healing, stick to a diet of soft foods, avoid intense physical activity, and continue to change your gauze if bleeding occurs. Resist the urge to spit or use straws as this can dislodge the blood clot forming over the incision. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, but avoid alcohol and tobacco use for at least 72 hours after surgery.
If you’re experiencing jaw pain, swollen gums, or trouble opening your mouth, the dedicated team of dentists and oral health professionals at Apex Dental Care can help. Conveniently located off I-90 in Issaquah, WA, this dental practice has been serving residents throughout King County since 2002. With a reputation for compassionate, friendly care using state-of-the-art equipment, you can depend on this clinic for a wide range of services from teeth cleaning to wisdom teeth extraction and oral surgery. Call today at (425) 837-0383 to schedule your appointment and visit their website for more information on their facility and commitment to patient comfort.