Wisdom Tooth Extraction: The Golden Rules - Dental Jobs Expert

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Wisdom Tooth Extraction: The Golden Rules

We’ve been discussing wisdom tooth extraction and everything related to it in our previous posts. Therefore, I think it is time for us to create a pivotal article that provides everything you need to know about the removal of this tooth! We’re going to divide the posts into several sub headers, including the introduction of the tooth, the wisdom tooth pain, the extraction, the recovery, as well as possible risk after the removal.

Wisdom Tooth: Not so Wisdom

Have you ever wonder why the wisdom tooth is called wisdom tooth? The name is used because it is the last tooth that erupted in our mouth. Wisdom tooth or the third molar usually erupts in late teen’s age or in your early 20s. So… supposedly, when a person has his or her third molar, that person has entered the adult world.

Unfortunately we have learned today that wisdom does not necessarily come with age, and that wisdom tooth often becomes problematic tooth for some. Some people have enough gaps in their jawbone to allow wisdom tooth to grow normally. However, there are other people whose wisdom tooth grows in a certain angle. What’s more, the location is at the farthest part inside, so it ca be quite hard to clean.

Typically many dentists during early examination will check the wisdom tooth. They may recommend removing the tooth if it has the potential to cause problems in the future.

Wisdom Tooth Pain Causes

As we have mentioned earlier, some people may have experience pain or discomfort in their wisdom tooth. There might be several causes for this, which include:

  1. Growing Tooth

The process of wisdom tooth growing and erupting might cause a mild discomfort or pain. This is perfectly normal and you should be able to handle it with simple over the counter pain relief medicine such as paracetamol.

what is wisdom tooth extraction

  1. Impacted Wisdom Tooth

People with small jaw usually have problems with wisdom tooth. Due to the lack of gap at the back of the mouth, the wisdom tooth often grows in a wrong angle. This might cause a ‘collision’ between this third molar to the second molar. Then, as you might expected, it causes the pain nerves is pressed and hence, the pain. In some other people the third molar is partially erupted, which press the second molar AND create a small gap between the two teeth, making a perfect place to hide bacteria and food debris.

Wisdom tooth pain

  1. Wisdom Tooth Infection

This usually happens in people whose wisdom tooth has fully erupted. The location of this third molar makes it difficult for a person to clean it thoroughly. This makes the tooth dirty and creates a perfect place for bad bacteria to grow. The bacteria then slowly destroy the tooth, and in can infect the wisdom tooth. The symptoms of wisdom tooth infection might include swelling and severe pain, which often cannot be solved with simple pain relief.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

impacted wisdom tooth extraction

The typical treatment for wisdom tooth pain is… extraction. This is the most sensible option because humans can actually live without using its third molar. Arguably, they can live a healthier life because they remove the risk of infection.

Under normal circumstances, dentist can immediately start the procedure of removing wisdom tooth. However, there might be slight differences depending on the condition of the wisdom tooth.

For example, regular extraction is enough for people whose wisdom tooth is normal. Meanwhile, people with impacted wisdom teeth might need a local surgery by dental surgeon. On the other hand, people whose tooth is infected will be prescribed with antibiotics and pain killer to ease the swollen gum and kill the bacteria. Only after that the dentist or dental surgeon can help.

Recovery after Wisdom Tooth Removal

wisdom tooth extraction aftercare

Recovering after wisdom tooth extraction, especially when you’re treated by dental surgeon will take some time. We’ve written some details related to this in our previous posts, but allow us to make a quick summary.

Planning

There are basically two parts of the recovery, which includes the preparation for the extraction and the aftercare. First you need to know that after the extraction (especially after the surgery) you will have a swollen cheek and gum, and that will last for a couple of days. Therefore, I recommend you to schedule the extraction on Friday, so that you can rest at home during Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, with the right treatment, the swelling will go down considerably on Monday.

It is also worth mentioning that you should eat before the surgery, because you won’t be able to eat for a couple of hours. Last but not least, if you are unsure that you’ll be able to drive home yourself, you can ask a friend or relative to drive you to the clinic. Here’s a good post about the recovery plan 

Wisdom tooth removal aftercare: Dos and Don’ts

The first 24 hours after the surgery is rather important for speedy recovery. Your dentist will give you a cotton ball to press the empty socket. Don’t spit too much during the first 2-3 hours (preferably during the whole 24 hours, because spitting might remove the beneficial blood clot), but you can replace the cotton ball every 1 hour (minimum) if it gets too much blood on it.

After you’re home, you can start applying hot compress to your swollen cheek. Replace the compress with new one every 1 hour. Then on the second day of recovery, switch to cold compress instead. This will speed up the healing process and ease your swollen cheek.

Wisdom tooth extraction aftercare: What to eat

Carefully choose your diet during the recovery time. First off, always opt for tap water. Don’t drink any sugary liquid because sugar is the favorite meal for bacteria. Don’t use straws, because sipping movement might cause dislodged blood clot on the empty socket. Stick to soft foods for a few days.

Needless to say, you should also avoid smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages during this time.

Possible Risks after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

wisdom tooth extraction risks

Just as other medical procedures, there are always risks involved. However, please do not be afraid because the success rate of the extraction is very high. The risks are mainly on the recovery period, not on the procedure itself. Below are some of the wisdom tooth extraction risks:

  1. Although it is unlikely, there is still a chance of minimum damage in the nerves, jawbones or sinuses after the surgery (such as locked jaw).
  2. A dislodged blood clot can cause dry socket. This can cause extreme pain because of the exposed pain nerves.
  3. Infection after wisdom tooth extraction, which may be indicated by bad breath after the extraction and persistent pain that don’t go away even after a week.

Don’t worry, all of these risks are manageable. You will be a much worse shape if you keep an infected wisdom tooth. The infection can lead to other serious health problems!

That marks the end of our ultimate guide to wisdom tooth extraction! Feel free to share your thoughts and experience below.

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