Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars that usually come in during your late teens to early twenties. Over time our jaws have shrunk, leaving little room for the extra row of teeth, which is why they can cause pain and need to be extracted. Besides pain, what are some of the common signs you need your wisdom teeth taken out?
Not every patient experiences pain associated with their wisdom teeth. Sometimes we will recommend pulling them based on your x-rays if the wisdom teeth will cause overcrowding or put excess pressure on the other teeth as they move.
When overcrowding occurs, teeth that were once straight begin to shift. Shifted teeth can cause problems such as one tooth moving in front of another, gum issues, and even result in infections caused by trapped food.
Pain is usually the first sign that your wisdom teeth are causing problems and will need to be extracted. The pain is typically a dull, aching pain in the jaw. Certain foods that require more chewing like meats and root vegetables can make the pain worse when chewing.
Hot/cold sensitivity can be another indicator.
Impacted teeth is another common issue from wisdom teeth coming in crooked. When there isn’t enough room in the mouth the teeth will commonly grow in on an angle and sometimes not in the same direction as the rest of your teeth. This usually results in tenderness, swelling, gum infections, and damage to surrounding teeth. When wisdom teeth are impacted, it is highly recommended to remove them as soon as possible. Impacted teeth are more likely to cause jaw issues and can cause other serious problems.
Wisdom tooth removal is a pretty common routine procedure at this point. Before we remove your wisdom teeth, we’ll numb the surrounding area so the most you will feel is slight pressure, not pain, while we work. If you have dental anxiety or fear, we have relaxing sedation options to help you feel comfortable and at ease during the procedure.
After your removal, the area will most likely be tender and sore. When you leave our office, we will send you home with a list of aftercare guidelines to help you have an easy, pain-free recovery. Depending on your situation, we’ll either write you a prescription for pain medication or recommend a list of over-the-counter pain relievers. If you have any questions about wisdom tooth extraction, contact us and one of our team members would be happy to answer them.
A local anesthetic will be used to numb the gums in the back of the mouth where the teeth are, but sedation is often used during wisdom teeth procedures to keep the patient calm and relaxed or unconscious during the appointment. If it’s going to be a relatively quick and easy removal, we may suggest nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, just to relieve any anxious thoughts. For impacted teeth or more complicated procedures where all four wisdom teeth are being removed at once, general anesthesia can be used to make it feel like the procedure was only a few seconds long, and you won’t have any memory of it. To learn more about our sedation options, get in touch with our office or visit our page on sedation dentistry.
There is no reason to live in pain. Wisdom teeth removal is a common and quick procedure. If you are experiencing any pain or have questions about wisdom teeth removal, our team is here to help! Contact us to book an appointment at one of our 30+ North Carolina dental offices. We look forward to serving you.