Why do I need my wisdom teeth out? (Part II)

In a previous post, I explained how wisdom teeth lead to gum infections and need to be removed.

Today, I would like to discuss another reason for removing your wisdom teeth.

teeth with braces


 Many patients have undergone orthodontic care (braces) to straighten crowded teeth.

The last thing you want to do, after spending time and money on braces, is to have your pesky wisdom teeth destroy the beautiful smile created by your orthodontist.

I work with a great orthodontist and friend, Dr. Shane Witherow, that refers patients for evaluation of wisdom teeth all the time.

When I look at the x-rays he sends, it’s evident the wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow into proper position. 

As these wisdom teeth develop, they cause crowding.

This happens without the patient experiencing pain or discomfort.

I explain to the patient (and parents) that, as wisdom teeth continue to develop, they will start to move teeth in a slow manner.  

This typically causes overlap which is especially evident in the lower front teeth.

Theses teeth are smaller in size and can be rotated easily.

This is usually the first sign that your teeth are shifting and crowding.

In short, its the first sign that your straight and healthy smile is being wrecked by your wisdom teeth.

After discussing this with the patient (and parents), I usually don’t have a lot of push back about scheduling wisdom teeth removal.

They don’t want this to happen after having spent thousands of dollars on braces.

There you go…another reason that you should consider having your wisdom teeth removed.

This is especially true if you’ve been told to do so by your orthodontist. 

Please check back to find out another reason to have your wisdom teeth out in part three of this blog post.

If you have further questions about the removal of wisdom teeth or need your wisdom teeth removed please contact us at tnoralsurgeon.com or call us at 615-828-9944 to schedule a consultation.

What should I expect after wisdom tooth surgery? 

I get asked this question quite often.

My answer tends to focus around four different things – swelling, discomfort, bruising, and bleeding.

Let’s take each of these one by one.

What Should I Expect After Wisdom Toot

Swelling

Some patients experience swelling after surgery.

This is that we affectionately call “chipmunk cheeks.”

You can expect the largest amount of swelling to occur 24 to 48 hours after your surgery.

The swelling will begin to diminish on the fourth after your surgery.

We make all attempts to prevent the swelling by providing ice packs.

We place these on your jaws immediately after surgery.

They are reusable and can be placed in the freezer after they thaw out.

Using ice packs the first 24 hours after surgery will help minimize swelling and improve your recovery.

We recommend keeping the ice packs on for 15 to 20 minutes and then remove them for 15 to 20 minutes over the first 24 hours after your surgery.

Discomfort

You can expect some discomfort after your wisdom tooth surgery.

Most of your discomfort occurs within the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

We will prescribe you pain medication to help you during the first 2 to 3 days immediately after surgery.

On day four you may be able to start using over the counter pain medications such as Advil, Motrin or Aleve.

Bruising

Some patients do experience bruising after having their wisdom teeth removed.

This usually occurs along the lower jaw line.

The bruising starts as a dark blue or purple area.

During the week after your surgery these areas will change colors.

Usually turning green at first then fading to yellow or orange before disappearing.  If

Bleeding

Some slight bleeding or oozing can be expected the first 12 to 24 hours after surgery.

This can be controlled by biting on cotton gauze that will be provided to you.

You should try and keep the gauze in your mouth for the first hour after surgery (you may need to change the gauze once or twice during this hour if it becomes saturated).

After this you may need to use additional gauze if bleeding starts again.

This may happen after eating or excessive talking.

The gauze can be folded into small squares and you can buy into this gently for 15 to 20 minutes and this should stop any recurrent bleeding.

Occasionally, this will not completely stop the bleeding.

When this occurs, you can wrap a small tea bag in the gauze and hold it over the surgery sites with gentle biting pressure.

5 tips to reduce swelling after wisdom tooth surgery

You can expect some swelling after having your wisdom teeth removed.

Peak swelling usually occurs on the 2nd or 3rd day after surgery.

To minimize your swelling I suggest the following:

Ice pack for wisdom tooth surgery

1) Use ice packs – place ice packs on the jaws the first 24 hours after surgery (15 to 20 minutes every hour)

2) Elevate your head while resting – sit in a recliner or place 1 or 2 pillows under your shoulders while in bed or on the couch

3) I prescribe a steroid pack after surgery (not all oral surgeons do this) – in my opinion it helps prevent swelling

4) Minimize heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for one week after surgery – rest allows your body to recover

5) We give our patients a compression head wrap (it holds reusable ice packs) – slight pressure on the jaws helps reduce swelling

Let me know if you have any other suggestions by leaving a comment below.

Why do I need my wisdom teeth out? (Part I)

Gum Infection :

Infectedgums

Sometimes a wisdom tooth comes  into your mouth at an angle (tipped over) or stops before it is in proper position.

When this happens only a part of the tooth protrudes through the gums.

The improper position does not allow you to clean around the tooth properly.

This area may become infected because food and bacteria get trapped under the gums.

Our concern is the infection may become severe.

It may involve painful swelling of the mouth and face.

It may cause you to run a fever.

You may not be able to eat and drink.

You also may not be able to open because of the swelling and pain.

When this occurs the wisdom tooth needs to be removed.

If this sounds like your situation let us know immediately.

You may need antibiotics before having your wisdom teeth removed.