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Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Candidate

If removal of the wisdom teeth is necessary, the procedure is recommended in the late teenage years, before the roots are completely formed. Surgical procedures in general are better tolerated when one is young and healthy, and the gum tissues tend to heal better and more predictably when young. Most people experience minimal disruption of their normal routines, and time off from work or school is usually minimal. At this point it is worth nothing that the removal of wisdom teeth can be of great benefit to your ultimate oral and general health.

Extraction of Wisdom Teeth is Recommended When:

Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result and will worsen if not treated.

There is a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.
A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.

Reasons for Extracting Wisdom Teeth

A wisdom tooth is extracted to correct an actual or potential problem. When wisdom teeth come in, a number of problems can occur:

Your jaw may not be large enough to accommodate them, and they may become impacted and unable to break through your gums. This happens in about 20% of people.

Your wisdom teeth may break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Food can become trapped under the flap and cause your gums to become red, swollen, and painful.

More serious problems can develop from impacted teeth, such as infection, damage to other teeth and bone, or the development of a cyst.

One or more of your wisdom teeth may come in at an awkward angle, with the top of the tooth facing forward, backward, or to either side.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Results

Wisdom tooth removal usually is effective in preventing crowding of the back teeth.

A wisdom tooth becoming stuck in the jaw (impacted) and never breaking through the gums.
Red, swollen, and painful gums caused by a flap of skin around a wisdom tooth that has only partially come in.

Gum disease and tooth decay in the wisdom teeth, which may be harder to clean than other teeth.

Tooth Extraction After Care

DO apply pressure to stop the bleeding by placing the gauze directly over the extraction site.
DO apply ice packs to your face to reduce swelling the day of surgery.
DO eat soft foods, such as soups and blenderized meals after the bleeding stops.
DO take antibiotics or pain-reducing medication if prescribed.
DON’T chew hard or crunchy foods such as nuts or popcorn for 2 weeks. These fods could become lodged in the extraction site or fracture the weakened jawbone.
DON’T rinse your mouth or spit forcefully the day of surgery; it could loosen the blood clot.
DON’T smoke after surgery. Inhaling creates suction and it could loosen the blood clot.
DON’T over exert yourself.
DON’T drink alcohol the day of surgery or while taking pain medications
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