Wisdom teeth, or the third molars, generally do not come in. They often lay dormant in the gum, causing problems with bite, alignment, and decay of the neighboring teeth. While many people have all of their wisdom teeth removed as young adults before they can cause problems, some dentists choose not to remove them until they feel it is necessary. Dr. Rupinder Dhadli of Westside OMS explains the reasons why wisdom teeth should be removed and explains the process for patients.
Wisdom Teeth Pain
When wisdom teeth begin to emerge from the gum, they can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Wisdom teeth pain is located in the back of the mouth behind the molars. If you feel a tooth beginning to protrude through your gum, your wisdom teeth are trying to come in. The area may be enflamed, red, or tender. Sometimes the teeth will erupt and then go back into the gum. This can cause pain and infection.
If you have pain in the back of your mouth, you should always see a dentist or oral surgeon to determine the cause. Oral pain can also indicate decay, a broken tooth or filling, teeth grinding, an abscess, or a gum infection. All of these causes should be ruled out when looking at oral pain.
Causes of Pain in the Wisdom Teeth
While some people’s wisdom teeth come in without incident, most people will have problems. Sometimes wisdom teeth are crooked. Often, they do not fit properly in the mouth. They can also cause infections around the tooth. If you think that you have a painful wisdom tooth, you should always see a dentist to get it checked out.
Sometimes wisdom tooth pain comes on suddenly, and sometimes it takes a long time to build into something noticeable. When you feel discomfort, your dentist or oral surgeon will be able to take X-rays and diagnose the area for the best possible treatment for you.
Remedies for Wisdom Tooth Pain
You may need help managing the pain from your wisdom teeth while you are waiting to get in to see an oral surgeon like Dr. Dhadli. In the meantime, you can use the following at-home comfort measures. You can try applying ice chips to the area that is painful to reduce swelling and numb the pain.
You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. This will help to reduce the inflammation caused by your wisdom teeth. Finally, a saltwater rinse may be comforting. Mix two teaspoons of salt into eight ounces of water and use this as a rinse in your mouth. It will help clean your mouth after you eat a meal and will help to kill bacteria that is causing an infection.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
When your dentist recommends that you should have your wisdom teeth removed, they will recommend that you make an appointment to an oral surgeon. Oral surgeons like Dr. Dhadli are trained to help you alleviate your pain and return your mouth to a state of good health.
Before you have your wisdom teeth removed, the oral surgeon will perform a full consultation and evaluation. The oral surgeon will take full mouth X-rays or a CAT scan to show the current state of your mouth. This will help the oral surgeon see whether the teeth are impacted or whether there will be any significant difficulties getting the teeth out.
The oral surgeon will also fully describe the removal process, including pre-operative guidelines, explaining the process of removal and anesthesia, and giving post-operative instructions for you to follow at home. Oral surgeons are highly trained medical professionals who are equipped to deal with severe mouth pain issues.
Before the wisdom teeth are removed, the patient should have a complete cleaning to make sure that the mouth is as healthy as possible. Patients with periodontal disease should have a full scaling done, and patients should use a prescription mouth rinse to kill germs in the mouth.
The patient needs to make sure that someone will be with them to drive them to and from the appointment and to ensure that they get around safely after anesthesia. While some oral surgeons use lighter forms of anesthesia than others, most people will be tired, dizzy, or disoriented after they wake up from anesthesia and will be unable to drive.
Process of Removal
Anesthesia will be given, either by inhalation or through a combination of inhalation and IV sedation. More anesthesia will be given by injection once the patient is comfortable.
To begin the surgery, the doctor will cut into the gum over the wisdom tooth. The surgeon will remove bone blocking access to the root. The surgeon may have to divide the tooth into pieces to make it easier to remove. The doctor will remove the tooth or pieces of the tooth from the mouth.
Then, the oral surgeon may stitch the wound closed. This may not be necessary. Gauze is placed over the extraction site to control the bleeding and help with clot formation.
After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Be sure that you stay fully hydrated. Avoid hot or cold beverages. Avoid using a straw for 24 hours because this can dislodge the blood clot. Keep your mouth clean using the rinse bottle that the oral surgeon provides. You will also have a prescription for an antibacterial mouth rinse.
You may need to have your stitches removed in a few weeks, or they may dissolve. Watch out for symptoms like excessive bleeding, fever, severe pain, pus in the socket, or numbness.
Trust Your Oral Surgeon
Dr. Rupinder Dhadli recommends that all patients with wisdom tooth pain visit a dentist right away to get help. Westside OMS and practices like it are ready to provide safe and effective relief from pain. When your wisdom teeth are removed, your other teeth will be healthier, and you will experience few side effects.