Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Removal
As your oral healthcare provider, we strive to help our patients maintain a mouth full of their own healthy, attractive teeth. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not always going to be possible for all of our patients. Due to a myriad of reasons, we here at Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery do occasionally need to remove a patient’s wisdom tooth.
What are Your Wisdom Teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are also called your third molars. They are the teeth that are in the far back of your mouth. They get their name because they arrive in late adolescence and early adulthood, hence when we are allegedly older and wiser. In the past, when our diets were tougher and hardier, this extra set of teeth was considered necessary. Today, however, our diets are much easier to consume. This can make your wisdom teeth not only redundant but also at greater risk of complications that may require extraction.
Why We May Need to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth
There are several different reasons that we may need to remove one or more of your wisdom teeth. One of the most common reasons is due to impaction. Impaction means that your wisdom tooth did not erupt properly. When it does not properly erupt, that means that it may be trapped beneath the gumline and will not break through. Sometimes wisdom tooth impaction can resolve itself, and we may simply wait and see. However, in some instances, pain may follow. If this occurs, your wisdom tooth may require extraction.
Another reason that we may need to remove a wisdom tooth is due to serious tooth decay or infection. Due to their location in the back of your mouth, your wisdom teeth can be harder to keep clean. That makes them more vulnerable to cavities (dental caries) and gum disease. Gum disease can form, leading to a cyst or abscess at the site. While we will first try to treat the infection, it can weaken your wisdom tooth, requiring it to be removed. Severe tooth decay may not respond well to conventional treatments (such as fillings or root canals). If this occurs, then we may need to extract your wisdom tooth.
On the other hand, we may also remove your wisdom teeth as a preventative measure. Because they are so susceptible to infection, gum disease, and decay, it can expose your nearby teeth to an elevated risk of infection and decay. We may advise removing the wisdom tooth, therefore, to help you better take care of your other teeth.
Aftercare for Wisdom Tooth Removal
It is very important to follow our aftercare advice following your wisdom tooth removal. Eat soft foods in the 48 hours after your wisdom tooth extraction. Do not use a drinking straw after your procedure, as it can lead to a very painful complication called dry socket. Abstain from all tobacco products after we remove your wisdom tooth, as it can inhibit healing. Do not engage in a heavy exercise in the week after your wisdom tooth removal, either. If you notice any signs of infection (such as foul discharge or fever), please call us immediately.
If you are interested in learning more about wisdom teeth and their removal, or you would like to set up an appointment with us here at Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery, please give us a call today at (704) 255-5888!