Wisdom teeth are your final set of molars — most people develop them in their late teens. When they are misaligned, they can crowd other teeth or cause damage to the jawbone, nerves, or nearby teeth.
There’s a possibility your wisdom teeth are impacted. That means they are still enclosed within or have only partially broken through, the soft tissue of the gums. This allows bacteria in and creates a risk of infection. This can result in:
These partially erupted teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay because they are harder to reach when brushing and flossing.
It’s important to keep an eye on your wisdom teeth with regular appointments. Your dentist may take X-rays periodically to look at their current position and alignment. To avoid the pain of impacted wisdom teeth, dentists sometimes recommend they be removed before symptoms present themselves. Also, the extraction of wisdom teeth that aren’t yet improperly aligned is much less painful.
When you’re younger, removing your wisdom teeth tends to be an easier, less painful procedure with much less downtime. As you age, the process becomes more complicated, can be more painful, and requires more time to heal. For this reason, many people request to have their wisdom teeth taken out before they become a problem.
Before they are pulled, your wisdom teeth are numbed with a local anesthetic. In some cases, especially if you’re anxious, you may also need a sedative such as nitrous oxide. The dentist then pulls the wisdom teeth. They may also make an incision to get to the tooth. In some cases, they will pull the tooth in small segments.
After the procedure, you can sometimes to experience bleeding, facial swelling, and pain. During this time, it’s important to continue to brush your teeth. You will need to restrict yourself to liquid foods and may be put on antibiotics and medication.
Avoiding the excruciating pain of misaligned wisdom teeth is essential for anyone. Contact the experts at Cascadia Dental Specialists today to learn more.
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