Wisdom teeth are your third molars, stuck way in the back of your mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. Some people only have two wisdom teeth, either two on top, or two on bottom. Wisdom teeth are the last of your teeth to come in, or erupt through the gums. They normally emerge between ages 17 and 21.
Oftentimes, wisdom teeth aren’t able to emerge normally and instead become impacted, or trapped within your jaw. Understanding more about impacted wisdom teeth can help you decide how and when to treat them and how to prevent related complications.
To remove the wisdom tooth, Dr. Greaves will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. He will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth.
What To Expect After Surgery
In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Painkillers may be prescribed as soreness, bruising or swelling may occur. The following tips will help speed your recovery.
- Bite gently on the gauze pad periodically, and change pads periodically as instructed. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery.
- While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip, or your tongue.
- Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
- Try using an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for the first 24 hours. You can use moist heat-such as a washcloth soaked in warm water and wrung out-for the following 2 or 3 days.
- Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding.
Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
- Do not use a straw for the first few days. Sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
- After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the clot and delay healing. In addition, smoking decreases the blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgery area.
- Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers.
- Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully.
Dr. Greaves will remove the stitches after a few days, if needed.
We make every effort to make wisdom teeth extraction and recovery as comfortable as possible. Several options for anesthesia and oral sedation are available. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.