What Are Wisdom Teeth?

wisdom teeth removal

We get a lot of questions from patients in our Clinton Township office about wisdom teeth extraction. The wisdom teeth are molars, i.e., those in the back of the mouth used to chew food. Most people have three sets of molars that start coming in during childhood and continue to develop throughout adolescence.

The wisdom teeth are the third set of molars. They are the last to emerge, typically erupting in your late teens or early 20s. Compared to when your other sets of molars emerge, this is relatively later in life. They are called wisdom teeth because when you are older, you are presumably wiser as well.

Why Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary?

As stated above, some people don’t experience any issues when their wisdom teeth come in. For many others, complications can arise that require wisdom tooth extraction to prevent future dental issues. At some point in human history, jaws became smaller, which left less room for the third set of molars. It’s believed that this development is partially to blame for many common wisdom teeth issues.

For instance, when there isn’t enough room for third molars, other teeth will be pushed aside as they break through. This causes teeth to become crooked and misaligned, which is both a cosmetic and functional issue. Crowded teeth are also more difficult to care for. When the spaces between teeth are too tight, it can be challenging to floss correctly. This increases the risk of tooth decay and cavities.

If wisdom teeth are impacted, jaw pain is also likely. In some cases, an impacted tooth can cause growths under the gums. When complications arise, wisdom tooth removal in Clinton Township, Michigan is the best treatment option.

What Are Some Common Problems Associated With Wisdom Teeth?

When there is not enough room for the wisdom tootth to erupt completely from the gum, it cna become impacted. This means that it only erupts partially from the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to become decayed because it is difficult to reach all the way into the back of the mouth for brushing and flossing. They can also become infected more easily because a partial eruption leaves an opening in the tissue around the tooth, allowing bacteria to enter.

Another common problem is that the wisdom teeth are frequently misaligned. They may be angled abnormally toward the other teeth or in the opposite direction. The wisdom teeth can also come in sideways.

Because there is often not enough room in your jaw for your wisdom teeth, they can push up against the other teeth as they attempt to erupt. This can result in crowding of your other teeth, causing them to become crooked, or damage to healthy teeth from the pressure exerted by the wisdom teeth or from the fluid-filled cysts or tumors that often form around them when they are impacted.

How Can You Tell If You Need Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Some people only learn that they need their wisdom teeth extraction in Clinton, Twp. Michigan after a dental x-ray. If teeth are badly impacted, you may experience pain and stiffness in the jaw. Your jaw or gums may also appear swollen. Toothaches can occur, as can difficulty chewing if tooth pain is severe.

You may notice that teeth are becoming crooked or misaligned. This happens when there isn’t enough space in the mouth to accommodate all your teeth. A cyst may also form around the affected teeth. This is a significant issue that requires timely care, as cysts may develop into tumors without the proper treatment.

What Happens During the Procedure?

Extraction procedures are very common. Most patients tolerate them well, and the oral surgeons at our clinic in Macomb/Clinton Township do all they can to ensure patient comfort. This includes providing medication before the procedure to limit swelling and discomfort. Sedation is another option, which allows the patient to remain in a relaxed state while the surgery is taking place.

During the extraction, teeth will be surgically removed and sutures may be used to close the surgical site. Most patients receive sutures that dissolve on their own in a matter of days.

You will feel groggy after the procedure, so having a licensed driver to take you home from our office in Clinton Township, Michigan is a must. This person will also be responsible for accepting aftercare instructions and conveying them to you once the medications and sedation have worn off.

What Is Involved in Wisdom Tooth Extraction Aftercare?

Following the procedure, it is normal to experience some bleeding, pain, and swelling. If you follow postoperative care instructions, these should go away within a few days after the procedure.

  • Bleeding: It is normal for surgical sites to ooze blood following surgery. If bleeding is excessive, you can stop it by placing a clean gauze pad or a moistened tea bag over the surgical site and biting down on it for 30 minutes. You can prevent further bleeding by avoiding exercise and excitement for a few days following surgery. A clot will form over the extraction site, and it is important not to do anything to dislodge it until the area underneath has healed.
  • Medications: Take any medications that we prescribe according to the instructions provided. We may prescribe antibiotics to prevent postoperative infection or pain medication to help control your discomfort following the procedure.
  • Swelling: Swelling and bruising are part of the healing process following wisdom tooth extraction. During the first 24 to 36 hours, you may be able to control this by applying ice packs to the affected side of the face. Swelling may persist past that time, gradually declining over the course of several days, but there is little benefit to continuing to ice the site after 36 hours.
  • Hygiene: It is important to keep your mouth clean following the procedure to help prevent infection. Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth gently at first to avoid dislodging your blood clots. The day after your procedure, rinse with a saltwater solution five to six times per day.
  • Diet: It is important to stay fed and hydrated following your wisdom teeth extraction. Receive plenty of fluids but don’t drink with a straw because the suction could dislodge your blood clot. Eat soft foods that aren’t too hot or too cold and try to avoid the surgical sites while chewing.

As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications following wisdom teeth removal. However, if you are careful to follow the postoperative instructions we give you, you reduce your risk.

Wisdom Tooth Removal in Clinton Township, MI

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