What are the wisdom teeth?

A wisdom tooth is the third molar that should erupt between the ages of 17 and 26.

Under what circumstances and when should the wisdom teeth be pulled?

Wisdom teeth are the back most teeth in the mouth. Since they are located at a point that is difficult to reach and see, brushing and caring for them can be more difficult compared to the other teeth. Due to insufficient brushing, the wisdom teeth easily decay, causing pain and oral malodor.

Wisdom teeth cannot erupt in some cases because of the lack of space in the jaw. They can remain fully embedded (not seen in the mouth, stay under both the gum and jawbone), or they can become a part of the oral environment by remaining semi-embedded under the gum. In this case, they cause the consumed foods to get stuck and accumulate in the area where they erupt, and thus causing infection. This situation, which causes swelling and redness in the gums around the wisdom teeth, severe pain spreading to the neck and ear, swelling of the lymph gland, and feeling pain while opening the mouth and swallowing, is called pericoronitis.

Fully embedded wisdom teeth, on the other hand, can push the teeth in front of them and create crowdedness (crookedness) in the teeth. 

In addition, they can cause the decay of the neighboring tooth by pressuring it. Embedded wisdom teeth that have not been noticed for many years can cause serious problems by contributing to the formation of cysts that reach large sizes within the jaw.

Even if they do not cause any problems, wisdom teeth may need to be extracted for orthodontic treatment in order to align other teeth properly.  For such reasons, wisdom teeth need to be extracted under local anesthesia.
The extraction of wisdom teeth should be operated by oral surgeons. 

Is the extraction of the wisdom teeth necessary?

There is no need to extract healthy wisdom teeth located in the correct position.

Could other teeth remain embedded?

Apart from wisdom teeth, sometimes canine teeth and premolars may also remain embedded. When it is determined that they cannot be brought to their places orthodontically (with braces), they should be removed with surgery.

What should be paid attention to in oral care and nutrition after the operation?

Spitting, tooth brushing, vigorous mouth rinsing, using straws, and mouthwash should be avoided on the first day after the extraction.  Warm, non-granular, and soft foods should be consumed on the first two days after the operation. After each food consumption and tooth brushing, antiseptic mouthwashes recommended by the doctor should be used.  Painkillers and, if recommended by the dentist, antibiotics should be used regularly.  You should not smoke for the first 48 hours after the operation as it will disrupt the healing process.

Will there be a lot of pain after the extraction of wisdom teeth?

After a fast and efficient surgery, there is not much pain, and the pain can be easily controlled with mild painkillers.

Will my face swell a lot after the procedure?

Edema in the cheek depends on the condition of the tooth and varies from person to person. In order to prevent swelling, a cold compress (ice compress) should be applied to the cheek area in the first 24 hours after the operation. Slight swelling is normal and is part of the healing process.

Author of the Article: Dr. Başak Kurdoğlu Öztemel

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