Dentist San Fernando Valley

Why a Wisdom Tooth May Need to be Removed

Why a Wisdom Tooth May Need to be Removed

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes these teeth come in normally and cause no issues. Often, though, their arrival presents problems.

A mouth often does not have enough room to accommodate wisdom teeth. For this reason, they commonly get trapped, or impacted, in the jaw and are unable to break through the gumline. Or they may break through only partially. Sometimes they are in an unusual position, even horizontal, and this could limit or prevent their ability to come in properly.

Impacted wisdom teeth can be a detriment to your oral health. They can damage surrounding teeth. Furthermore, especially when they are partially impacted, they can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. For this reason, tooth extraction is generally necessary for wisdom teeth.

The Process

For impacted wisdom teeth, an incision is made in the gums above the tooth, and soft tissue and bone are removed to expose the tooth underneath. The tooth is then removed, either in whole or in large pieces that are surgically cut. If the tooth is not impacted, it can often be removed as any other tooth would be.

The following tips can help your recovery to go smoothly.

• Apply pressure to stop bleeding by biting on gauze. Placing a tea bag on the area may also help.
• Place ice packs on your cheek to control swelling.
• Eat soft foods for the first couple days after the procedure.
• Avoid using straws to help ensure the blood clot remains in place.
• Be very careful when brushing your teeth for the first day or two afterwards.
• Follow all instructions from your dentist and take any medications as prescribed.

Consult with our dentist to see if your wisdom teeth may need to be removed.

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