How do I know when to have my wisdom teeth pulled?

Here, our dentists in Winnipeg discuss the signs that you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed as well as explains the recovery period after the procedure.

Wisdom Teeth

Many people will have their third set of molars emerge when they are between 17 and 25 years old, these molars are called wisdom teeth. If they erupt straight and healthy, they are usually harmless. Although, you may need dental surgery to have them removed if they come in misaligned or don't fully erupt.

When to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Your dentist can help maintain your oral health by removing any wisdom teeth that come in problematic. Sometimes, patients that have another procedure done (such as corrective jaw surgery) might need to have their wisdom teeth extracted so they don't get in the way.

Preferably, wisdom teeth should be extracted before they can cause discomfort or pain, or before an infection occurs. Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing pain, they could still one day cause crowding, which may lead to tooth decay because crowded teeth are often difficult to clean.

You’ll want to schedule your wisdom teeth extraction in advance, and allow a few days for recovery.

The Age When Most People Remove Their Wisdom Teeth

Generally, it’s preferable to have wisdom teeth removed approximately at the age of 18 because the roots of these teeth haven’t fully formed and are hooked to the jaw bone. Once this happens, the procedure and recovery process could be more difficult.

Signs You Need to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your dentist, because your wisdom teeth could be creating problems:

  • Difficulty eating
  • Sinus problems
  • Headaches
  • Pain in teeth or jaw
  • Bad breath (caused by plaque bacteria collecting on the wisdom teeth, or infection)
  • Misaligned wisdom teeth
  • Gum inflammation
  • Facial swelling (caused by impacted wisdom teeth that remain below the gum surface)

Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Hurt?

Tooth extractions are far less painful today than ever before, due to the use of sedatives and anesthetics. In many cases, patients who have wisdom teeth pulled experience little to no discomfort, and perhaps only minor bleeding.

Before the tooth is extracted, the area around the tooth will be numbed with an injectable or topical anesthetic to ensure comfort.

Once your dentist has removed the tooth, he or she will discuss tooth replacements options with you. These may include bridges or dentures.

The Wisdom Tooth Recovery Period

Many dentists use techniques such as IV sedation so the procedure is as comfortable as possible for patients.

Expect to be in and out of your appointment in about an hour. Recovery takes a few days, with some potential discomfort and swelling within the first 2 to 3 days.

During healing, eat soft foods, refrain from strenuous physical activity, and follow your dentist’s advice and post-care instructions. If you do these things you should have a smooth recovery process.

Contact our Winnipeg dentists today to schedule an appointment, and learn if it's time for you to have your wisdom teeth removed.

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