What is Wisdom Tooth?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of grinding teeth called molars and are located at the back of the mouth. Normally a person has four wisdom teeth which usually come out in late teens or early twenties. Well aligned wisdom teeth are an asset in one’s mouth, but often they are misaligned which becomes the main reason for wisdom tooth removal.
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
At the time when wisdom teeth come out other 28 teeth are already fully grown thus making lack of space for wisdom tooth to come out properly due to this sometimes wisdom tooth emerge out through the gum at an angle or are partically out or struck in between. Such wisdom teeth are called impacted wisdom teeth.
There are different types of impacted widom teeth:
Horizontal Impaction –
When the wisdom tooth comes out horizontally, it is known as horizontal impaction.
Vertical Impaction –
Vertical impaction is when the tooth comes out straight but gets stuck to the next tooth and cannot come out of the gums.
Mesial Impaction –
Here the tooth grows at an angle towards the front of the mouth.
Distal Impaction –
When the wisdom tooth grows and lodged at a distance from the next tooth.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure:
To begin with the wisdom tooth removal procedure, the dentist will have to take an x-ray of the tooth so as to ascertain the exact position and nature of the impacted wisdom tooth. This makes the dentist outline the further removal procedure for the particular impacted tooth. If a wisdom tooth is fully errupted, the removal procedure is easier than any other tooth. However if the wisdom tooth is embedded deep into the gum and the jawbone, the removal becomes difficult as it may require incision in the gum and removal of certain pieces of bone too. In this situation the tooth may be extracted in parts rather than pulling it out in one go.
Possible Complications Of Wisdom Tooth Removal:
The two possible complications which one may face after wisdom tooth removal are –
Dry Socket –
Proper after surgery care prescribed by the doctor has to be taken in order to avoid complications. One of the most common complications post wisdom tooth removal is dry socket. This is caused if the blood clot fails to occur in the socket of the removed tooth or the the blood clot which has formed has been dislodged. In the absence of clot the healing gets delayed. Dry socket occurs after three to four days of tooth removal and is accompanied with pain and foul smell in the mouth.
Paresthesia is a less common complication which can occur after wisdom tooth removal. Wisdom tooth which is deeply embedded into the jawbone often is close to nerves. Sometimes during surgery these nerves get bruised or damaged which causes numbness called paresthesia, in the lip, chin or tongue. This may last for few weeks, months or may be forever.
Recovery Procedure After Wisdom Tooth Removal:
The recovery procedure depends upon the magnitude of the removal procedure. If the removal involves a fully errupted wisdom tooth then the recovery is fast and if the tooth in embedded into the jawbone, the recovery may take some time.
For The First 24 Hours –
Bleeding may continue for few hours after extraction. To control bleeding pressure is applied on the socket for half an hour to forty five minutes. Place a clean moist cotton swab on the socket and apply pressure. Avoid rinsing or drinking hot tea or coffee for 24 hours so as to facilitate clot formation which acts as scab on an open wound. If the clot does not form or gets dislodge, dry socket may form.
Antibiotics which your doctor may have prescribed prior to wisdom tooth removal should be continued arter the removal as well till the prescription is complete.
Pain Relievers –
Pain relievers which your doctor may have prescribed such as ibuprofen can be taken to overcome minor pain.
Facial swelling may occur in the area where the tooth has been removed. To reduce the swelling ice packs can be used on the area on your face in the intervals of 20 minutes during the first 24 hours.
You should be on liquid diet till the time numbness due to anesthesia is completely gone away. Ater that gradually start eating beginning with soft foods in the initial few days.
Brush Teeth Regularly –
Do your normal brushing of teeth. Avoid brushing the teeth adjacent to the site of extracted tooth in the first 24 hours. From second day onwards resume gentle brushing of teeth. Avoid mouth rinses as these may irritate the extracted tooth site.
After 24 Hours Of Tooth Extraction –
It may take from a few weeks to few months for the complete healing after tooth removal. However in the first week or two enough healing is done to make your mouth comfortable at the site of extraction. You may ask your dentist in case you feel to have any specific advice from him.
After 24 hours of tooth extraction facial swelling should be treated with hot fomentation. Use a warm moist cloth on the area in a 20 minute off and on cycle. You may repeat fomentation as required.
Salt Water Rinse –
After the meals and before going to bed rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Do not use mouth rinses, take a cup of warm water and add ½ teaspoon of salt to it and rinse your mouth with this water.
Removal Of Stitches –
After one week, if you have been given stitches and that too of non self dissolving type, your stitches have to be removed by your dentist.
Check For Dry Socket –
Dry socket is caused when the blood clot does not form or the formed blood clot is dislodged from the site of tooth extraction. This condition has to be treated by your dentist.
Your Feedback Please!!
Hope the above information on wisdom tooth removal has been helpful for people preparing or planning wisdom tooth removal. We would appreciate your views and feedback on the post in the comments below.
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Hi, this article is written by me, Ravi Kochhar, the founder of this blog. I write about health and fitness issues to bring out the most authentic and trusted information on the subject for the readers. You may catch me at google +, facebook and twitter.