Did you know that 5 million people in the United States every year get their wisdom teeth removed? Wisdom teeth rarely come in the way all the rest of your teeth do. More often than not, your wisdom teeth will end up impacted, and they will require removal.
But is it ever too late for wisdom tooth removal? Some people don’t have problems with their wisdom teeth until much later in life, and some people have wisdom teeth that never erupt at all. Does this mean that you should leave your wisdom teeth alone once you’re older?
Not necessarily. Keep reading and learn more about removing wisdom teeth and what to expect from the wisdom teeth extraction procedure.
Why Do You Need to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth tend to erupt in one’s late adolescence, but they can also erupt when you’re in your 20s. However, in rare circumstances, you might not have to deal with your wisdom teeth until you’re in your late 20s or even your early 30s. The first thing you should know is that it is never too late to get your wisdom teeth removed.
The point at which you need wisdom teeth removed all depends on whether or not your wisdom teeth are bothering you or causing you any problems. Before your wisdom teeth erupt, they shouldn’t cause you any problems, and you shouldn’t even be aware of their existence. However, once these teeth start to shift and get closer to the gum line, they may start to cause trouble.
When it comes to the signs you need your wisdom teeth pulled, the first sign you will likely notice is soreness in the back of your jaw. Wisdom teeth often cause pain because they don’t erupt properly. Instead of erupting with the top part of the tooth (the crown) right-side-up, the crown of the tooth might attempt to come in sideways or even at a diagonal angle.
When this happens, the wisdom tooth will attempt to grow into your nearest molar, and at that point, the tooth will become impacted.
What You Need to Know
As you can imagine, a tooth trying to grow into another tooth can be quite painful. This is not to mention that this can cause more serious tooth problems such as an infection or abscess if you leave it untreated.
If you have pain in the back of your jaw and especially swelling at the back of your mouth, you may need to get your wisdom teeth removed. It is easier to remove a wisdom tooth in a younger person because a young person’s mouth is still developing and shifting. On the other hand, removing a wisdom tooth from an adult will be a somewhat more difficult and invasive process, but it is still possible, and dentists do it all the time.
Removing a wisdom tooth that has erupted or is partially erupted will be easier to remove than a tooth that has not erupted at all. Even so, if your wisdom teeth are causing you problems, your dentist will be able to remove them no matter what state they’re in.
What to Expect From the Wisdom Tooth Procedure
Many people think that removing wisdom teeth is a terrifying and painful procedure, but this isn’t quite true. It is true that removing any kind of tooth can be painful, which is why your dentist will provide you with a numbing solution of some kind. If your wisdom teeth have erupted, your dentist will provide you with a local anesthetic.
That way, you won’t be able to feel anything in the treatment area. If you are very nervous about the procedure, the dentist may also provide you with nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. This will help you relax and be less aware of the procedure.
Once you are no longer able to feel the pain of the procedure, your dentist will remove your wisdom teeth. The whole procedure should not take very long. Once the teeth are out of your mouth, you will need to take care of your oral health to make sure your mouth heals correctly.
The process is more complicated if your teeth have not erupted. In this case, you will likely need oral surgery, which is a much more invasive process than a simple extraction. Because oral surgery is much more invasive and painful, you will likely be put under general anesthesia.
This will render you unconscious for the entire procedure, and you won’t be able to feel any pain. In this case, your oral surgeon will need to cut into your gums to reach the tooth. At that point, the surgeon will need to dig the tooth out of the gum line without harming any of the nerves or blood vessels in your jaw.
Because oral surgery is so much more invasive than an ordinary tooth extraction, the process will take quite a lot longer. In some cases, it may last several hours. Whatever the case, after the procedure, you will still need to take care of your oral health in more or less the same way to prevent an infection from taking hold.
All About Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom tooth removal isn’t as terrible as you might expect. Your dentist will numb your mouth so you won’t feel any of the pain of the procedure, although you may feel some pressure. Once your wisdom teeth are finally out of your mouth, you will need to eat soft foods and keep your mouth clean to ensure that your mouth heals well.
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