Are you noticing pain or pressure towards the back of your mouth? Maybe some of your teeth have even started shifting. What might be a reasonable explanation? For many, wisdom teeth can present quite the hassle and introduce the potential for infection, crowding, and other unwanted effects on an otherwise healthy smile. Despite the risks associated with wisdom teeth, patients can avoid some detrimental effects with an extraction procedure. Although a tooth extraction may sound daunting to some, our patients at Anderson Dental can rest easy knowing that we can safely remove their wisdom teeth here at our comfortable dentist's office in Champaign, IL.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
The teeth in the back of your mouth are called molars, and we use them to grind and process food for easy digestion efficiently. Anthropologists discovered that our ancestors had larger-sized jaws that included a third set of molars for added strength to process various foods. The human body has undergone various changes through time and evolution, and despite having a smaller jaw, some still end up with these extra molars or wisdom teeth.
What Happens if You Don't Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
For many, wisdom teeth start to come in or "erupt" between the ages of 17 and 25. Some may have little to no pain or problems caused by their wisdom teeth. However, extractions are commonly required to avoid further problems down the line. After consultation, a dentist may recommend an extraction by an oral surgeon to prevent some of the following situations.
- Trapped wisdom teeth in the back of your mouth
- Wisdom teeth erupting at the wrong angle
- Crowded teeth, as many patients don't have enough space to accommodate wisdom teeth.
- The buildup of plaque and bacteria can lead to cavities and gum disease, as patients cannot always clean wisdom teeth effectively.
At Anderson Dental, we can determine if patients require a wisdom teeth extraction during an initial consultation. By taking x-rays and examining a patient's teeth, we can recommend the best course of action regarding any wisdom teeth. Please get in touch with our office at (217) 356-7334 to find out more about wisdom teeth and their effect on your oral health.
Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Painful?
When it comes to surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth removal, patients may feel concerned or worried about any associated pain, discomfort, and length of time required. Luckily, due to anesthetics, patients don't need to experience pain during a wisdom teeth extraction. In many cases, patients won't be fully conscious during their procedure (generally lasting under an hour). Depending on the patient and their specific situation, a dentist may also use a local or general anesthetic.
Post-procedure, patients can experience some discomfort but may alleviate symptoms with over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication and other helpful recovery methods (please consult a doctor before taking any medications).
Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery
So, you've just had one or more wisdom teeth removed. What happens next? To avoid infection or "dry socket," patients can engage in simple practices to facilitate their healing experience and get back to eating the foods they love.
- Gently rinse out your mouth with lukewarm saltwater to remove any food particulates from the surgery site.
- Use pain medication under the direction of a medical professional
- Take time to rest and recover post-procedure
- Gently brush and floss your teeth
- If needed, use an ice pack externally on your jaw to help with any pain or swelling.
If you experience any fever or signs of infection, be sure to call your dental surgeon for further advice or follow-up appointments if necessary.
For patients who aren't sure what foods are safe to eat during a wisdom tooth extraction recovery, soft foods can provide a soothing, tasty solution while healing. Some foods friendly to recovery include:
- Ice cream
- Soft rice or pasta
What Should I Avoid Post-Tooth Extraction?
Some patients may feel the need to get back to normal life immediately after a procedure, but taking the time to heal is monumental for your oral health and smile! A few ideas worth considering include:
- Avoid drinking through a straw, as the suction can loosen existing blood clots.
- Avoid hard, crunchy foods like chips, candy, or anything challenging to clean out of your teeth.
- Avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages, as they may prove detrimental to the healing processes.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products. Tobacco can harm your mouth while healing and negatively affects oral health and the rest of the body.
Contact Anderson Dental in Champaign, IL
If you're searching for "wisdom tooth removal near me," you've come to the right place! Our professional staff at Anderson Dental can assess and remove wisdom teeth that may prove detrimental to your oral health. Scheduling an initial consultation couldn't be easier; patients can call us at (217) 356-7334 or book an appointment online to get started.