What Are Wisdom Teeth?

wisdom teeth extractionPeople develop three sets of teeth during their lives. The first set develop sometime before the first birthday. These are called primary teeth, and they give way to the permanent set around age six or seven in most cases.

Adults also develop a third set of molars in the late teens and early adulthood. These are the wisdom teeth, which get their nickname from the phase of life during which they arrive. People typically develop four wisdom teeth, two on the top and two on the bottom in the back of the mouth.

Why Is Wisdom Teeth Extraction Necessary?

Wisdom teeth are a holdover from the early days of human evolution. In those days, our human ancestors fed on things such as nuts, leaves, and roots, as well as meat. There were no utensils with which to crush or cut the food, and early humans did not yet know how to soften food by cooking it. Therefore, they had to have multiple sets of strong molars with which to grind down the raw food that they lived on.

Over the course of several million years, human beings have changed a lot, not only in terms of diet and dental needs but also in the size and shape of the head. The brain is much bigger than it was back then, and the jawbone is much smaller, perhaps to compensate for larger brain size. Not only are jawbones relatively smaller, but they have often stopped growing by the time the wisdom teeth come in. As a result, once the wisdom teeth finally start to emerge, there often isn’t enough room for them.

It should be noted that not everyone in Michigan ends up needing a wisdom tooth extraction. In the first place, not everyone has wisdom teeth, and even those who do may not have a complete set. People may have a full set of four wisdom teeth, while others only have three. Some have one or two wisdom teeth, while others have none at all. Even if you have a full set, wisdom teeth removal is only necessary if they are causing specific dental problems.

Problems Commonly Associated with Wisdom Teeth

Dentists often recommend wisdom tooth extraction in Rochester, Michigan when teeth are impacted. If you have enough room in your mouth the development of third molars might not pose any issues. However, most people lack the space to accommodate four extra teeth, which leads to impaction.

An impacted tooth can come in at an odd angle, or even sideways. It can also push other teeth out of the way to cause crowding or misalignment. These potential problems lead to many dentists recommending removal even when there are no issues present. There’s a chance that problems will develop down the line, and at that point it will be more difficult to remove the third molars because the roots will be fully developed.

What Are the Signs You Need Wisdom Tooth Removal?

When one or more wisdom teeth are causing problems in your mouth, it may result in pain in your jaw. This may be more pronounced when you eat. You may also notice the formation of a cyst, which appears as a sac of fluid next to the tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause stiffness or swelling in the jaw, making opening your mouth more difficult. You may also experience bad breath.

An infection of the wisdom tooth can spread to your gums as well. This may cause them to bleed or to become swollen and tender.

When Wisdom Teeth Must Be Removed

Impacted teeth are often painful. They also increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, as they make brushing and flossing more difficult when there are smaller spaces between crowded teeth. Crooked and misaligned teeth are a cosmetic issue, but they also affect the function of teeth. For example, misaligned teeth can result in uneven wear, which causes sensitivity to certain teeth.

Cysts can also develop around impacted teeth without wisdom tooth removal. Without intervention by a wisdom teeth extraction specialist in Rochester, Michigan, these cysts may also develop into tumors or growths. Impacted molars increase the risk of infection as well. With a serious infection, there’s also a chance that it will spread into surrounding tissues, including the jaw bone.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Wisdom teeth extraction in Rochester Hills, Michigan is very common and more patients experience little discomfort during the procedure. The area around the tooth is numbed before the surgery begins. You also have the option of being sedated during the procedure. Third molars are then surgically removed using specials tools and the surgical site is sutured. You may need to return to have the stitches removed, or they may dissolve on their own. Your oral surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to care for your teeth immediately following the surgery.

Complications and Risks

While extraction is safe and effective, like all other surgeries it also entails some risks. Dry socket is a common yet easily treated complication that occurs when a blood clot fails to form at the surgical site. In this case, you will be provided medication to treat the dry socket. There’s also a risk of nerve damage during the surgery, but this complication is rare. A skilled oral surgeon will make sure the procedure is performed with your health and safety in mind.

What to Expect During Recovery

You’ll need a ride home from our tooth extraction clinic in Rochester Hills, MI, the day of the procedure since you’ll be unable to drive until the effects of the sedative have worn off. You’ll experience a bit of pain and swelling, which is normal. Most patients can control it with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs.

A soft diet is recommended for the first few days. Focus on high protein foods, such as yogurt, and smoothies made from fruits and vegetables. Don’t drink liquids through a straw, as this can increase the risk of a dry socket developing. If you smoke, you should refrain for at least a few days after the surgery.

You can brush and floss your teeth the same day as the surgery, just be careful around the surgical site. You can also begin a saltwater rinse regimen the day after your surgery. Rinse gently, especially around the affected tooth or teeth.

What Are Some Aftercare Tips?

  • Make sure the gauze stays in place for at least a half hour, as this will help control the bleeding. After discarding the gauze, don’t touch or disturb the affected teeth.
  • You’ll be provided pain medication after the procedure. It should be taken according to your doctor’s instructions. Antibiotics will also be provided, which prevent infections.
  • Soft foods and liquids are recommended immediately following the surgery. Sufficient liquid intake is important to prevent dehydration. You should also focus on eating high-protein foods, such as yogurt, as they’ll help maintain energy.
  • Regular dental care can resume the day of the surgery, but refrain from rinsing and exercise caution when brushing around affected teeth. Beginning on the day after the surgery, rinse with saltwater up to six times a day to reduce pain and swelling.

Wisdom Tooth Removal in Rochester Hills, MI

If you require wisdom tooth removal in Rochester Hills, Michigan, contact Summit OMS today. Our specialists are here to help and are available to answer any questions you may have.