Everyone’s experience with wisdom teeth is a little different. While most people’s wisdom teeth come in between ages 17 to 21, that can vary quite a bit. You may never get wisdom teeth, you may only need to get one or two removed, or you may need to get all four removed.
Regardless, in order to prevent dental issues and discomfort, it’s important to keep an eye out for them. Below are some key indicators that you may need your wisdom teeth removed, along with some tips for what to expect during the extraction process.
4 Signs You Might Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Sometimes your dentist can catch your wisdom teeth coming in before you feel any related symptoms — but sometimes they come in quickly between appointments and can’t be caught ahead of time. In those cases, here are some things to watch out for:
1. They’re Impacted
“Impacted” wisdom teeth do not have space to push through your gums and come in correctly. The symptoms related to impacted wisdom teeth usually include:
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Pain and swelling in the jaw
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Bad breath
In rare cases, impacted wisdom teeth don’t cause any symptoms. However, dentists usually catch them on X-rays and recommend removing them in order to prevent them from becoming a problem in the future.
2. Your Other Teeth Are Growing Incorrectly
Before wisdom teeth grow in, most people have 28 teeth in their mouths. After wisdom teeth, this number can grow to 32 teeth, making your mouth overcrowded.
When your mouth is overcrowded, it’s difficult to ensure your teeth develop properly and are straight. It can also cause you some pain and discomfort as your teeth shift.
3. You Have Pain In Your Mouth
When wisdom teeth come in, they can cause pain, discomfort, and swelling in your mouth. As a general rule, you should always schedule an appointment with your dentist if you’re experiencing pain. They’ll be able to determine if the cause of your pain is due to wisdom teeth or a different dental issue, and they’ll inform you of the best steps to take.
4. You Have Sinus Issues
Believe it or not, wisdom teeth can cause sinus problems. This occurs when wisdom teeth grow in the upper jaw because the roots develop and push up against your sinuses. If you experience chronic sinus pain, pressure, congestion, and/or headaches, your wisdom teeth could be the culprit.
What To Do If You Think You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned and suspect you may need to get your wisdom teeth removed, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Getting the issue diagnosed and cared for early will minimize your pain and discomfort.
What To Expect At and After Your Wisdom Teeth Procedure
Although they’re often dreaded, wisdom teeth extractions are actually pretty quick and pain-free using local or general anesthesia. The whole process only takes a maximum of a few hours, including the initial consultation appointment and the actual wisdom teeth procedure. When you wake up from your anesthesia, you’ll feel a bit tired (and possibly a little loopy!), so you should have a family member or friend accompany you to drive you home.
After your extraction, you’ll spend a few days to a week resting and recovering at home. The recovery process is different for everyone. You may experience a little pain and swelling, but most are back to normal activities in a day or two. Others might need up to a week to recover. Either way, having your wisdom teeth removed includes a little bit of discomfort, but saves you a lot of discomfort in the long run.
Some more tips for a successful wisdom teeth extraction recovery include:
- Eat soft foods. Yogurt and ice cream are your friends! Avoid spicy, chewy, and crunchy foods.
- Drink lots of water. This will help keep your mouth clean and free of infection. Avoid consuming hot or carbonated drinks.
- Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. Do this every few hours and after you eat. Some dentists may give you a syringe to help you get the solution to the extraction site.
- Avoid any activity that could damage the extraction site. Things like using a straw, exercising, and smoking could cause damage, delay healing, and open your wound up to infection.
- Manage your pain with medication prescribed by your dentist, over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol, and ice packs.
- If you experience extreme pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever, contact your dentist right away.
Experiencing any of these symptoms? It might be time to see your dentist about getting your wisdom teeth removed. Give Weber, Mountford, and Ruszkowski a call to book your appointment today.