I have always been confused why people remove their wisdom teeth when they aren’t causing them any major problems. Until my dentist recommended that I should have mine removed as well, that is. I was baffled by this opinion – why wouldn’t he just fix whatever was wrong with my molars like he does with the rest of my teeth? Well, there’s a whole philosophy behind that, so his answer was pretty elaborate. But still, I’m glad I asked. Here’s a bit info for all of you who still have your wisdom teeth and think you should have them forever.
My dentist explained that there are various reasons for wisdom teeth removal. A very common one is that they are impacted. Since they are so far back in your mouth, they can easily become trapped in the gums or jawbone causing you pain. Another reason is that they may grow in the wrong angle causing problems and pressure to the other teeth in the mouth. Also, some people’s jaws may not have enough room for extra teeth. And in my case, because of cavities.
Because of their location, cleaning my wisdom teeth was pretty much mission impossible, so it was only a matter of time when cavities would form. Even though I had changed nothing in my daily oral hygiene routine, I started experiencing a lingering bad taste in my mouth more often. At one point I couldn’t even mask it with breath fresheners and that’s how I knew it was time to visit my dentist. He thought that removing my wisdom teeth was a better solution than fixing them. Although the decay was pretty small, it was located in a spot that was impossible to reach and fix.
No matter how it may sound, wisdom teeth removal is a simple procedure that any experienced dentist can perform. The entire process lasts about 45 minutes or less, which is normal for oral surgery. Depending on the type of anesthesia, every patient responds differently but still most people feel very little to no pain at all after the procedure is done. You will feel some level of discomfort for about three days or so but the entire process of healing takes longer, usually a few weeks. The dentist will give you some tips and advice on what to do and what to avoid doing and eating for a faster recovery. Keep the following advice in mind.
DO use an ice pack on your face to prevent skin colour changes or swelling. Use moist heat if you have a sore jaw and practice opening and closing your mouth. Eat soft foods and drink a lot of fluids. The second day you can brush your teeth but make sure you avoid the blood clots. Take the drugs prescribed by your dentist regularly and if you feel some pain, fever or the swelling does not go away, call your dentist.
DON’T drink through a straw and do not rinse your mouth too harshly. Instead, be very gentle and you can even rinse your mouth with salt water. Do not eat hard or sticky foods, and if you are a smoker, make sure you avoid cigarettes for a few days as smoking can slow the healing process.