What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth were originally given that name due to the fact they emerge at a time of life called the 'dawn of wisdom', typically during the late teens or early twenties. Technically, they are called 'third molars', molars being the large teeth towards the back of the mouth that do most of the chewing during eating. These teeth tend to cause two main problems: impacted wisdom teeth (where those molars do not entirely grow out through the gums and cause the other molars to grow out of alignment), or they simply become misaligned themselves, causing jaw and gum pain. Regular dental checks are important not only in maintaining your health, but in preventing or anticipating these two problems.
Removing Wisdom Teeth
Extraction of third molars is a common practice that is recommended to most people due to the nature of the mostly irregular eruption of the teeth, even though the procedure to remove them is relatively complicated. The complications occur because the operation causes more pain afterwards than is experienced in the removal of other teeth. Anaesthesia is introduced intravenously to the patient, numbing the tongue, gums and the muscles on that half of the jaw. Once the anaesthesia has fully taken over, the wisdom teeth are removed by force, since there is no more gentle manner to complete the procedure. The patient then bites down on a bit of cotton that is placed where the tooth was in order to staunch the bleeding.
1) The anaesthesia will completely fade after 12 hours, after which the patient is likely to experience pain. Excessive talking or chewing is not recommended, as this can increase the pain in the jaw due to the movement.
2) Bleeding will continue after the procedure, and it is recommended to not remove the cotton or to replace the cotton to ensure that the bleeding is halted.
3) Eating and drinking warm or hot foods or drinks is not advised for at least 48 hours after the operation.
4) In order to allow the blood from the wound left by the tooth to clot, do not gargle or spit for at least 24 hours after the extraction.
5) Use pain relief medication prescribed by the dentist or orthodontist.
The removal of wisdom teeth can be quite painful, but is much more bearable than to live with the constant pain the teeth causes in the first place. Following the above steps and recommendations will help the process to complete without further problems.