Wisdom teeth are among the most often removed teeth because they can cause a variety of dental issues, including impaction. Because they are no longer useful for eating or biting, removal of these bothersome teeth is usually the best option.
Do you know why you have wisdom teeth and what you should do about them? Answers to some of our most frequently asked third molar questions are provided here. Read on to unravel the mysteries!
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Grow?
Human existence has changed dramatically in the modern age, and our bodies haven’t always kept up in terms of evolution. As a result, we are left with structures that no longer serve a biological role yet exist in our bodies. These are referred to as vestigial organs. Wisdom teeth, according to anthropologists, have traveled this path. Long ago, our ancestors ate tough, fibrous foods such as nuts, roots, leaves, and even raw meats, which needed greater chewing force. Over a lifetime, the teeth grew quite worn; therefore, having more teeth was a benefit.
Another reason wisdom teeth might be surprising is that they don’t emerge until beyond puberty when the rest of the body has typically peaked in terms of growth and development.
Baby teeth and permanent teeth come out in a predictable pattern. However, because wisdom teeth are the last pair of molars to grow, they do not appear until much later. Most people have their wisdom teeth emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. That is how they earned the name “wisdom teeth.”
Some of us never grow wisdom teeth, while others can grow one to four of them, or even more, but in rare cases. Scientists are still baffled as to why the number of teeth each individual has differed.
Causes of Wisdom Tooth Impaction
Because the human jaw has shrunk over the ages, but wisdom teeth still exist, they are very susceptible to impaction or obstruction by the surrounding teeth or gums. Simply said, there isn’t enough space for them to grow well.
When the wisdom teeth try to take their position in the mouth, it can cause a chain reaction of issues. 90% of adults, according to West Ryde, have at least one impacted wisdom teeth. Teeth can be moderately or entirely impacted. When the teeth are impacted, they may develop in the following abnormal ways:
- At a right angle to the rest of the teeth
- At an angle toward the rear of the mouth
- At an angle toward the second molar
- They are straight up and down (like normal teeth), but they are stuck within the jawbone.
These abnormalities can lead to more serious dental problems, such as cysts, an increased risk of cavities, tooth damage, and an endless list of gum diseases.
Early Warning Signs and Symptoms That You May Have an Impacted Tooth
Honestly, it can be quite difficult to view the back of your mouth by yourself, but here’s what you can do: use a mirror to check for any of the aforementioned signs.
Because molars have various surfaces and are likely to have cracks and fissures, the regions at the rear of our mouths are prone to dental disorders in any event. Furthermore, they are more difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss. Wisdom teeth, on the other hand, are considerably more susceptible, especially if they are slightly impacted.
If you have wisdom teeth, keep an eye out for the following:
- Bleeding, enlargement, or sensitivity of the gum
- Pain at the rear of your mouth caused by a clenched jaw
- Tenderness in the jaw
- Bad odor in your mouth
- A bad taste in your mouth
- You have a hard time chewing or opening your mouth
Wisdom Teeth Removal and Treatments
For treatment with problematic wisdom teeth, a variety of home treatments have been recommended. While home treatments might give temporary comfort, they are not a substitute for obtaining a diagnosis and appropriate treatment from a competent dentist.
They can actually exacerbate the situation over time by making the symptomless obvious while enabling the source of infection, tooth decay, or discomfort to spread or create more severe pains.
However, in rare circumstances, the following home treatments may be beneficial:
- Saltwater: Saltwater has a cleaning action that fights bacterial illnesses. A salt water flush can help clear the diseased region until the cause of the infection is addressed if a wisdom tooth develops pericoronitis or another kind of abscess. Two to three times a day, dissolve a tiny quantity of salt in warm water and swish for 20 to 30 seconds. This can also be beneficial following wisdom teeth removal to maintain the cleanliness of the sockets and their surroundings. If the source of the problem is poorly positioned or decaying wisdom teeth, saltwater will not permanently treat it.
- Clove essential oil: Eugenol, a natural numbing agent, is found in clove oil. Apply a few drops on a cotton ball and lay it near the painful spot. This is just for temporal relief as the pain may return shortly after the clove is removed. Note that using this method for an extended period of time can cause irritation or burns to the tongue or other tissues.
- Teabag: Different varieties of tea contain natural characteristics that can aid with wisdom teeth pain and extraction. Peppermint tea has numbing qualities and can give short pain relief when applied to the sore spot with a cooled teabag. Tannic acid, found in black tea, aids in the prevention of bleeding by stimulating clot formation. If you’ve had a wisdom tooth pulled and the bleeding won’t stop after an hour, lay a damp teabag on the bleeding location and bite down lightly to provide pressure.
- Garlic: Garlic inhibits the development of germs that cause illnesses. To help manage an infection until a dentist can diagnose the disease, make a paste of chopped garlic and salt and apply it to the affected region. The pungent odor of garlic, on the other hand, is difficult to tolerate for lengthy periods of time.
To reiterate, patients should see a dentist as soon as possible because the home cures listed above will not heal the underlying problem and may disguise a more serious disease.
How is Wisdom Teeth Extraction Performed?
When it is found that a wisdom tooth is causing problems, it is typically necessary to have it extracted by a trained general dentist. A local anesthetic is usually used to ensure that the tooth may be extracted without causing undue pain. Many patients would opt for conscious sedation (being put to sleep and having pain signals muted) so that they have little or no memory of having their wisdom teeth pulled out. The dentist then performs a small operation to remove the tissue and bone around the wisdom tooth to be able to remove it properly from the socket. To seal the surgical site and encourage healing of the surrounding tissue, many stitches may be required. These stitches may be dissolvable sutures that dissolve on their own after 3 to 5 days, or they may be stitches that must be removed by the dentist after a set amount of time.
What is the Recovery Time after Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
The first recovery and healing period after wisdom teeth extraction generally lasts three to five days. Given the surgical approach, little bleeding from the location is to be expected. After the first 24 hours, mild bleeding should begin to subside. When the anesthetic wears off, you may have jaw stiffness, trouble opening your mouth completely, and some pain. Pain relievers are frequently administered to aid with postoperative symptoms and pain. Tylenol, an ice pack, and a little narcotic are usually enough to relieve discomfort. Antibiotics may be recommended to some people. The patient will be urged to consume soft meals for a few days after surgery and to avoid spicy foods, cigarette and alcohol usage, and strenuous exercise for three to four days.
One of the most essential things to remember following wisdom teeth removal is to avoid smoking. Smoking may cause the healing process to be slowed and will raise the likelihood of postoperative complications. Rest and allow the region to recover are the greatest pain relievers after extraction. It is critical to follow the surgeon’s postoperative recommendations in order to avoid difficulties. It may take three to four weeks for the gums to recover completely.
The Potential Risks and Complications of Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Although surgical recovery is normally straightforward, complications might arise. A dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis, is the most prevalent side effect following wisdom teeth extraction. This problem occurs when a blood clot at the surgery site unintentionally dislodges, exposing the bone. When this happens, the bone along the extraction socket becomes inflamed and uncomfortable. If a dry socket develops, it usually occurs between two and five days following the extraction and causes a terrible taste and odor in the mouth as well as continual throbbing pain. In the event of a dry socket, the dentist should be notified. This problem is simple to treat and frequently disappears rapidly with medications or the stimulation of a new blood clot.
The dangers of wisdom teeth extraction should be discussed with a dentist. If a wisdom tooth is judged problematic, removing the tooth during adolescence is preferable to extract the tooth later in life. Both the extraction operation and the healing process get more challenging as the personages. It is essential to consult with a dentist about the status of the wisdom teeth and the timing for extractions to avoid problems.
If you have symptoms that signal complications due to wisdom teeth growth, please, do not hesitate to consult a dentist in your area.