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    • 12 NOV 13
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    Wisdom Teeth – To Be or Not to Be

    Just about everyone knows someone who has had a problem with their wisdom teeth, and in fact it can be pretty rare to find an adult with a full set. These third molars are especially prone towards developing problems as the modern jaw has evolved to be smaller than our ancestors. In the past wisdom teeth were necessary as our diet was much rougher and needed far more chewing. Nowadays this simply isn’t required, and most people don’t have enough room to fit in four more teeth.

    Common Wisdom Teeth Problems

    Wisdom teeth can frequently be impacted which means they cannot break through the gums as they may try to come up underneath other teeth, or they may even try to erupt through the side of the jawbone. Sometimes wisdom teeth will partially erupt, and this can also create problems as the flap of gum around the tooth can be very difficult to keep clean. It often traps bacteria which creates infection and pain. These partially erupted teeth are far more prone towards developing gum disease and tooth decay, especially because they are right to the back of the mouth and can be very hard to clean.

    Your family dentist will have been continually monitoring the position of your wisdom teeth during regular examinations and whenever they take dental x-rays. If they think these teeth will create a problem then they’ll probably recommend you have them extracted.

    It can be easier to have wisdom teeth extracted when you are younger, and the reason for this is that the tooth roots will not yet have fused in the jawbone, so extraction is generally much more straightforward. Wisdom tooth extraction is frequently something that can be carried out by your general dentist, but particularly complicated cases may be referred to an oral surgeon.

    What to Expect after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

    Afterwards it’s perfectly normal to experience a little bit of discomfort and some swelling. This is usually easy controlled with over-the-counter painkillers, and possibly the use of ice packs or moist heat. We will have given you for instructions on how to care for the extraction site, and one of the most important things is to make sure that the blood clot in the sockets isn’t disturbed as this is essential for healing.

    It’s important not to spit, and it’s best not to drink through a straw as the sucking motion could dislodge this clot. You may also want to stick to eating soft foods for a couple of days until the healing process is well underway. You should make sure you continue to brush the rest of your teeth to help prevent the risk of infection. If you do dislodge the blood clot then there is a small chance you may develop a condition called dry socket. This may require extra treatment from our dental office.

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By: Dmitry Epelboym Cosmetic Dentistry Center