If you’re like many women and men, your first two sets of molars fully erupted by the time you were about 12 years old. Your third set of molars, known as your wisdom teeth, may have erupted in your late teens or early twenties or remain impacted beneath your gums. The expert team of dentists at Alhambra Family Dentistry in Alhambra, California, evaluates wisdom teeth for signs of impaction, crowding, and other problems, and provides extractions when necessary. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Removing your wisdom teeth isn’t always necessary. This set of teeth can be just as useful as your other molars, provided they have sufficient room to erupt and form a proper bite relationship.
Unfortunately, wisdom teeth are prone to a variety of problems, which may occur before or after they erupt. The most common reasons that wisdom teeth are extracted include the following:
Wisdom teeth that are impacted, or remain beneath the gums, generally don’t have enough space to erupt. Although this isn’t always a pressing issue, it can be problematic if you experience pain and inflammation.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth may trap food particles beneath your gums, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Besides increasing your risk of developing a serious infection, partially erupted wisdom teeth can be very painful.
Fully erupted wisdom teeth may be candidates for extraction when severely infected. Abscessed and excessively decayed wisdom teeth are also commonly extracted.
The team at Alhambra Family Dentistry usually recommends extraction as soon as your wisdom teeth begin to cause problems such as pain. They may also advise early removal before your wisdom teeth are problematic if they determine there’s insufficient room to erupt.
Removing wisdom teeth during your child’s adolescent years can avoid impaction or crowding problems that damage their neighboring second molars.
Wisdom teeth are removed in the office using a local anesthetic.
In the first 24 hours after your surgery, your body’s healing mechanisms form a blood clot to fill in the bone where your teeth used to be. During this time, it’s critical to keep the extraction sites, or sockets, as clean and clear of any food debris as possible.
You should also avoid rinsing your mouth in the first 24 hours to help promote quick healing. The first time you rinse, take extra care to swish the water gently, so you don’t damage the blood clot in your sockets.
You can continue to brush and floss your teeth normally as you heal, but avoid the tender extraction sites and surrounding areas.
If you feel intense or unusual pain at any extraction site soon after having your extraction, it may you may have an infection that your dentist should treat immediately.
To learn more about wisdom teeth extractions, call Alhambra Family Dentistry or schedule an appointment online today.