4 Signs You Might Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

4 Signs You Might Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

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.

Wisdom Teeth: How Long Will it Take Me to Recover?

Wisdom Teeth: How Long Will it Take Me to Recover?

Getting your wisdom teeth removed can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. Don’t go in blind! Keep reading to find out average recovery time, what to expect after the surgery, and how soon you can go back to work or school.


What is Recovery Like?

After the surgery, the anesthesia and numbing agents will slowly wear off. It usually takes a couple of hours for the numbness in your mouth to be completely gone. You’ll experience some soreness and swelling in your mouth, as well as your jaws and cheeks. However, your oral surgeon will prescribe something to help reduce pain and swelling, as well as an antibiotic to prevent infection. You can also use ice packs on your cheeks and jaws to lessen swelling and pain.

When eating, you should take care to avoid anything hard, sharp, crunchy, or chewy, as these could be difficult to eat, cause pain, or get into your wound. You should also avoid using straws, sucking or slurping motions, and smoking, as these activities could dislodge the clot where your teeth were removed and cause a painful condition called dry socket, in which the bone is exposed.


What is Dry Socket?

A dry socket is an unfortunate side effect that can happen after a wisdom tooth removal. Like we mentioned earlier, a dry socket happens when the blood clots that have formed after your tooth’s removal are dislodged, leaving the bone exposed.

With the bone exposed, that area of your mouth will be very sensitive. Many people report pain radiating up and down the side of the face upon drinking cold water or breathing in cold air.


What to Do if You Suspect a Dry Socket:

Though dry sockets are uncommon, they do happen. If it’s been three or more days since your wisdom tooth extraction, and you’re still in a great deal of pain, it’s a good idea to go see your dentist. If you’ve had multiple teeth extracted, but only one area is really in pain, it’s fairly likely that you have a dry socket.

If you suspect you have a dry socket, absolutely don’t wait to see your dentist or oral surgeon. Go in as soon as you can, because dry sockets are very difficult to get rid of on your own, and can have complicated problems if not treated properly.


Dry Socket Treatment

If you do have a dry socket, your dentist will treat it one of two ways:

  • Packing the socket with dry socket paste – Dry socket paste was made for your exact situation. Your dentist will take a long strip of paste and insert it into your dry socket. While there may be a bit of pain while the socket is being packed, dry socket paste contains a numbing agent that will alleviate your pain as soon as it’s in there.
  • Packing the socket with bone graft material or surgical foam – This is a more uncommon method, but there are dentists who use it. Just like with socket paste, your dentist will insert the material into your socket, but this method is more permanent.

Once your socket has been adequately packed, your pain should subside and you’ll be free to g home. If you’ve had your dry socket packed with dry socket paste, you will have to return to the oral surgeon in a few days to have the paste replaced, or taken out if your socket has healed enough.

In the case that your dry socket has become infected, your dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe a round of antibiotics as well.

To avoid dry socket, and to recover quickly, It is important during recovery to drink lots of water and stay well-hydrated. Though your mouth may be sore, you shouldn’t avoid eating altogether, as your body will need nutrients to bounce back quickly.


Some Easy-To-Eat Recovery Foods Include:

  • Milkshakes
  • Applesauce
  • Soup
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream/sorbet
  • Oatmeal
  • Pudding
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pureed fruit
  • Cottage cheese
  • Protein/meal replacement shakes/drinks
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Baby food

How Long Will it Take Me to Recover?

As a general estimate, you can expect full recovery to take one to two weeks, and should be able to return to normal activities like work or school within three to four days. Recovery time depends on numerous factors, including your body’s resilience, the number of teeth that were removed, and how the teeth were coming in or impacted. The more difficult the teeth were to remove, the longer the recovery period will be.

If you experience dry sockets, you’ll need to see your dentist to have the socket treated. After treatment, expect a couple of weeks to fully recover.

After wisdom teeth extraction, the best way to shorten your recovery period is to follow your dentist’s directions for care: take the prescribed medication, avoid foods that could cause irritation or dry sockets, and don’t overexert yourself. If you follow these guidelines, you should have a healthy recovery and be back to normal in just a week or two!


Do you need to have your wisdom teeth out? Give Creason, Weber & Mountford Family Dentistry a call today!