MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA-It’s not exactly comforting when the dentist says that your wisdom teeth are starting to come through. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, nearly 90 percent of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Plus, the average person has at least four wisdom teeth.
So what’s really all the fuss about wisdom teeth? Simply put, modern jaw size and better dental health now make it less likely for the third set of molars to properly erupt, explains Tennessee oral surgeon David Johnson.
Mountain View dentist Dr. Donian Shen says that ignorance with wisdom teeth can be very destructive.
“Avoiding wisdom teeth extraction can lead to infections, cysts, tumors and even damage to adjacent teeth,” says Dr. Shen. “Patients with wisdom teeth usually don’t feel any pain. But the longer you put off wisdom teeth removal, the more trouble you’re getting yourself into.”
The easiest time to remove the third molars is during a patient’s teenage years. As you grow older, tooth roots continue to grow and teeth reposition themselves. This makes for a much more challenging extraction for the dentist.
For many patients, the most challenging aspect of the process involves the postoperative recovery. Here are some helpful tips in getting through your wisdom teeth removal.
- Chew on the opposite side of the wound for 24 hours to avoid infection.
- You can prevent dry sockets by not spitting or sucking through a straw.
- Use gauze pads to control bleeding.
- Manage swelling with cold swelling and rinsing with warm saltwater.
- Treat any discomfort with anti-inflammatory medication.
- The first days after surgery, eat soft, cold foods that are easy on the mouth.
“One of the things patients forget is their brushing and flossing,” explains Dr. Shen. “In order to prevent an infection in the wound, it’s critical to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Just be sure to take it easy around the surgical site.”
Within a few days, patients typically feel well enough to resume normal activities and return to a normal diet.
“It’s a quick recovery,” says Dr. Shen. “There’s absolutely nothing to worry about. It’s a routine procedure that we’ve all gone through.”
Dr. Shen is a top dentist for root canal treatments in the Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View areas. Contact our office for additional information about any of our services.
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