Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars at the back of a person’s mouth. In order to avoid overcrowding, pain, and infection, it’s recommended that most people have their wisdom teeth removed. As practitioners of family dentistry in Fort Worth, Irving, and Farmers Branch, our offices provide wisdom teeth removal services.
The Problems Wisdom Teeth Can Cause
The health and development of a person’s smile can be greatly affected by wisdom teeth. For some, their third molars will emerge and cause crowding in their smile, damage neighboring teeth, and increase the potential for cavities. Oftentimes, this crowding will mean additional orthodontic work is necessary to bring teeth into alignment.
Some people’s third molars never emerge due to insufficient space and become impacted. This can cause a host of other problems, including irritated gums, infections, and painful cysts. Because impacted wisdom teeth are stuck below other teeth, they can be more difficult to remove—especially if you put off the procedure until later!
Who Will Need Their Wisdom Teeth Extracted?
Though a majority of people can benefit from having their third molars removed, not all people will need to undergo this procedure. Some patients have enough space in their jaw for their third set of molars. For young patients who have been visiting the dentist for regular exams, it may be apparent from an early age whether or not wisdom teeth removal will be necessary. For everyone else, a dental exam and x-ray can illuminate the position of the wisdom teeth.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Most people will need their wisdom teeth removed sometime between the ages of 16 and 22—this is the period when the third molars typically push forth to emerge. However, some patients may need to schedule their extraction sooner, possibly to keep ongoing orthodontic work on track. Those who reach the age of 35 without experiencing any dental problems relating to their third molars are unlikely to require removal later in life.
How do I Know When I Need to Get my Wisdom Teeth Out?
Your dentist might know it’s time to discuss removing your wisdom teeth from X-ray results, however in between appointments you might encounter certain symptoms that could signal they are starting to come in. If they are impacted, you might experience swollen or bleeding gums, jaw pain or stiffness, bad breath or a hard time opening your mouth. Even if they are not impacted, you may still experience pain at the back of your mouth where they’d be growing. If your teeth start shifting it might be a sign your wisdom teeth are growing in because our jaws are not typically not large enough to accommodate a 3rd molar, so they will push your other teeth as they grow in. If you begin to have any of these symptoms, make an appointment today to talk to one of our dentists, as it’s better to not wait if you sense your wisdom teeth are growing in.
What are Some tips for Healing?
Everyone’s healing process looks a bit different. Typically, it will take about 2 weeks after your procedure for swelling, jaw stiffness, pain and bruising to subside. For at least 24 hours after your procedure, you should avoid brushing your teeth right over where your wisdom teeth were, swishing vigorously with liquid, sucking from a straw, drinking alcohol, eating hard-to-chew foods, and drinking super hot liquids. Blood clots form where your wisdom teeth used to be, and it’s important to not try and remove them or touch them, as they protect the empty holes where the teeth previously were. Using an ice pack directly after surgery can help alleviate pain and bruising, as well as taking Ibuprofen or other pain medications throughout your healing process.
Visit Us for Family Dentistry in Fort Worth
Rio Dental & Orthodontics operates out of three convenient locations in Farmers Branch, Irving, and Fort Worth, TX. Our dental team is dedicated to helping patients of all ages get a healthy and beautiful smile that they are proud to show off! We provide family dentistry in Fort Worth so that kids, teens, and adults can achieve their best dental health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.