Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last of our teeth to emerge. But oftentimes these are unable to come out properly. This leads to impaction and this quickly followed by a myriad of oral health complications like infection and disease. Once this occurs, your oral surgeon will most likely suggest getting them extracted.
At Irvine Dentistry, our amazing team has many years of experience in treating mild to severe impaction of wisdom teeth. If you or a close family member are dealing with pain, swelling, or bleeding around wisdom teeth, book an appointment with Dr. Christianne Lee today. She can ensure that your wisdom tooth extraction goes as smoothly as possible.
What Are the Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth can vary from mild to severe depending on how long the issue has existed. If you are unable to chew, talk, or move your jaw properly, chances are that you may be dealing with an infected tooth.
Some of the common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include gum or jaw pain, cysts, unexplained discomfort or pressure around the back of mouth, bad breath, earache, headache, swollen or bleeding gums, and toothache.
In some cases, a partially impacted tooth can create a gap where food might get stuck. This can make cleaning those areas very difficult due to the location of the cavity. This can lead to bad breath, decay, and infection among other issues.
While most people have obvious symptoms, others may not notice much difference when their wisdom teeth erupt. The possibility of impaction mostly depends on our maxillofacial skeleton and genetics.
What Are the Risks Associated with Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
There are several risks associated with impacted wisdom teeth, especially when they are not treated early on. You must also be careful about other underlying health conditions, as they could get worse with impacted teeth.
In most cases, impacted wisdom teeth must be extracted to preserve oral health. For instance, if the tooth is unable to break out of its sac, it can fill up fluid, leading to the formation of a cyst.
If overlooked for too long, the issue can advance to more serious infections such as cellulitis or gingivitis. In some of the rarest cases, a noncancerous tumor has also been known to have formed. These will most likely require a surgical procedure to remove.
In some cases, the impacted wisdom teeth can also affect the health of nearby second molars. These will become more susceptible to infection and decay if adjacent wisdom teeth are not dealt within due time.
There have also been cases reported where patients experience teeth crowding. This is mostly due to the fact that erupting wisdom teeth can push against other teeth. Although this will most likely lead to some toothache, the more important issue that you may have to worry about is crooked teeth.
If erupting wisdom teeth disturb the alignment of nearby healthy teeth, you may need additional orthodontic treatments to get them realigned.
If any of these symptoms persist, you should seek professional dental care right away. Ignoring these symptoms can not only damage your oral cavity but also impact your general health negatively.
Wisdom Teeth Treatment Options
Mild symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth can be treated with pain relievers and non-steroidal muscle relaxants. However, if the patient is experiencing continued pain and discomfort, a dentist may suggest to get them removed immediately.
While it may sound like an intrusive dental procedure, wisdom teeth extractions are fairly common. Many people choose to get their wisdom teeth extracted much before they become an issue as a preventative measure. Since they are a vestigial organ, there is no harm in getting them removed.
As part of the procedure, you will be given anesthetic drugs to keep you from feeling any pain during the extraction. Between local anesthesia and general anesthesia, one of the sedatives will be administered to keep you comfortable and calm during the surgery. Once the extraction site has been prepared for the surgery, your oral surgeon will make a cut in your gums to expose the impacted teeth.
Once they gain access to your tooth, they will loosen it before pulling it out. The entire surgery may last anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes. If the teeth are fully impacted, meaning they are buried deep within the jawbone, then it might be more challenging for your surgeon to remove them than if they were partially out of the gums.
Recovering From Wisdom Tooth Extraction
In most cases, patients can go back to daily activities the same day of the surgery. Unless you were on general anesthesia, you can resume working or go back to school and continue your day. However, there are some aftercare measures you must follow to ensure that the extraction site heals properly. For instance, every patient is advised to refrain from strenuous physical activities for 24 hours after the surgery.
You may experience some pain and swelling around the area which should go away in a couple of days. If the pain or swelling persists or there is bleeding around the site, get in touch with your dental surgeon right away.
But, other than that, it is all about taking care of the wound so it heals faster. Do not eat hard or chewy foods like nuts, candy, or chips. Instead, stock up on soft foods before the surgery like smoothies, fruits, mashed potato, or boiled rice.
Do All Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?
If your impacted wisdom teeth are not causing any issues, then you do not have to remove them. While some dentists may argue that you should get them removed as a preventative measure, others will only recommend an extraction if the impaction is causing oral health issues.
In some cases, partially damaged teeth can also be restored with dental crowns. At Irvine Dentistry, we can provide you with all the possible treatments for impacted wisdom teeth.
Schedule an Appointment for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Your oral health is vital, which is why at Irvine Dentistry, we provide the highest quality of dental care to all our patients. To book an appointment with us over the phone, do not hesitate to reach us at (949) 656-2933.