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How do I know when to have my wisdom teeth pulled?

Do you think you may need your wisdom teeth removed? In this post, our Winnipeg dentists share some of the signs that may indicate you need your wisdom teeth extracted.

What are wisdom teeth?

When many people are between the ages of 17 and 25 they have a third set of molars erupt called wisdom teeth. If wisdom teeth erupt straight and healthy they are usually harmless. But, if they don't erupt fully or come in misaligned, your dentist might recommend dental surgery to have your wisdom teeth removed.

When will I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

By removing troublesome wisdom teeth, your dentist can help preserve your oral health – and prevent future problems. Sometimes, a patient will undergo another procedure (example: corrective jaw surgery) that needs their wisdom teeth extracted so they won’t get in the way.

It's preferable to have wisdom teeth removed before they lead to pain or discomfort, or an infection develops. Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing pain, they still could cause crowding, which may lead to tooth decay because crowded teeth can be hard to clean.

You’ll want to schedule your wisdom teeth extraction in advance, and allow a few days for recovery.

At what age do most people need their wisdom teeth removed?

Usually, it’s ideal to have wisdom teeth removed around the age of 18. This is because the tooth roots haven’t completely formed and hooked to the jaw bone. Once this happens, the procedure and recovery process can be more difficult.

Signs you might need your wisdom teeth removed

If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist, because your wisdom teeth could be causing issues:

  • Pain in teeth or jaw
  • Headaches
  • Sinus problems
  • Gum inflammation
  • Bad breath (caused by plaque bacteria collecting on the wisdom teeth, or infection)
  • Difficulty eating
  • Misaligned wisdom teeth
  • Facial swelling (caused by impacted wisdom teeth that remain below the gum surface)

Does it hurt to have your wisdom teeth extracted?

Today, tooth extractions are much less painful than they were in previous years, because of the use of sedatives and anesthetics. Often, patients that have their wisdom teeth pulled experience little to no discomfort, and perhaps only minor bleeding.

Before the tooth is extracted, the area around the tooth will be numbed with an injectable or topical anesthetic to ensure comfort.

Once your dentist has removed the tooth, they will discuss tooth replacements options with you. These could include bridges or dentures.

How long does it take to recover after having wisdom teeth removed?

Many dentists use techniques such as IV sedation so the procedure is as comfortable as possible for patients.

Expect to be in and out of your appointment in about an hour. Recovery takes a few days, with some potential discomfort and swelling within the first 2 to 3 days.

While you are healing, eat soft foods, refrain from strenuous physical activity, and follow your dentist’s advice and post-care instructions. If you do these things you should have a smooth recovery process.

Contact our Winnipeg dentists today to make an appointment and find out if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed.

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