Wisdom teeth removal is extremely common, and it’s for a good reason. When those teeth start to come in, you might begin to notice some changes in your mouth that include pain and overcrowding.
Here at Bay Dental Group in San Jose, California, Dr. Woo Young Lee, Dr. Sean Kim, and our team know how to evaluate the condition of your overall oral health and assess the state of your wisdom teeth. We can determine what needs to happen next to keep your mouth in good shape.
If you have concerns about removing your wisdom tooth or teeth, we want to put you at ease. First, it might be good for you to know what can happen if you choose to forego the procedure even though you need it.
Common problems caused by your wisdom teeth
Your wisdom teeth are molars located in the very back of your mouth. They usually show up between the ages of 17 and 25. In most cases, their introduction causes issues.
When they start to come in, problems include:
- Crowding of your other teeth
- Causing your other teeth to shift
- Damage to your jawbone
- Damage to your nerves
- Sinus pain
Your wisdom teeth can also stay impacted, which means they might barely break the surface of your gums while sitting deep in your jawbone. If they create an opening in your gums but don’t fully emerge, bacteria can settle in the area and cause an infection. You’ll know if it’s infected because you’ll feel pain, inflammation, swelling, and your jaw might get stiff.
When your tooth is impacted, you also can’t clean it properly, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
When you come in for your semi-annual visit, we take X-rays to see if your wisdom teeth are about to erupt. We also look at their positioning and can determine if wisdom tooth removal is necessary.
When to have your wisdom teeth removed
In some cases, if we see that your wisdom teeth are coming in and foresee problems, we might recommend you have them removed before any issues develop. This saves you from dealing with oral health issues in the future.
It’s also easier to remove wisdom teeth when you’re younger because the roots aren’t yet fully developed, and the jawbone is softer. Recovery time goes quicker as well.
If you have an issue that’s causing problems, then we recommend having your wisdom tooth removed as quickly as possible to avoid other issues.
What to expect during and after wisdom teeth removal
To have a wisdom tooth or teeth removed, we talk to you about your options before your procedure to make sure you’re completely comfortable. We offer sedation and local anesthesia so you don’t feel anything during your oral surgery.
If your teeth are impacted, we make an incision in your gums and might need to take out the tooth in sections. If it’s above the gum, we can usually extract it easily.
After your procedure, you need someone to drive you home if you’ve been sedated. If you have local anesthesia, and if you feel fine, then you can drive home yourself.
People respond to recovery differently. Some might experience pain and swelling for three or more days. Others might have very little pain. We give you specific instructions to follow to help you get back to your normal routine quickly. Within a few weeks, your mouth should be fully healed.