Have you ever wondered why wisdom teeth so often require an extraction? After all, if it causes problems, why does it emerge in the first place? As it turns out, thousands of years ago, our ancestors actually put these third molars to good use to chew raw meat, roots, nuts and other items that were more difficult to digest. Through our evolution, though, these four teeth still emerge, but they can be problematic at times. Read on to learn when you should visit your dentist in Coeur d’ Alene to have a wisdom tooth extracted, and also learn how the procedure works.
The Problems That Wisdom Teeth Can Cause
Since the human jawbone has adapted over time, it’s rare for a wisdom to break through the gum line without causing some type of issue. Here are some of the troubles that can arise:
- Crowding of the surrounding teeth
- Cysts that form on the underlying bone
- A tooth that comes in crooked or in the wrong direction
- Bacteria accumulation around the partially erupted tooth
Warning Signs That a Wisdom Tooth Needs to be Extracted
Leading up to a wisdom tooth needing to be pulled, you’ll usually have some warning signs. They may include red, tender or swollen gums, jaw pain, unpleasant breath, swelling around the jaw or difficulty opening your mouth.
At the first notice of any of these symptoms, you should immediately reach out to your dentist to schedule a visit to prevent a dental emergency.
How the Tooth Extraction Process Works
There are two basic approaches to removing a wisdom tooth. The following explains how each works:
- Simple Extraction – A simple extraction begins with the application of local anesthesia to numb the treatment area, and then using a tool called an elevator, your dentist will loosen the tooth so it can be easily removed.
- Surgical Extraction – For more difficult extractions, where a tooth is partially broken or impacted, your dentist may need to perform a surgical procedure. This will require an initial incision to be made into the gum tissue to allow access to the partially emerged tooth.
After the extraction is completed, the site will need to be pampered for the next 24-48 hours to ensure proper healing. Thus, it’s a must to avoid biting into hard items, smoking or chewing tobacco and brushing vigorously around the extraction site.
While a damaged or impacted wisdom tooth can leave you in pain and vulnerable to an infection, the good news is that with the help of your local dentist, you can soon have excellent oral health and regain your normal life.
About the Author
Dr. Filip Orban earned his dental degree from the prestigious Loma Linda University. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to providing the best patient experience possible, which is why he utilizes the latest in advanced dental technology. Dr. Orban safely and effectively removes wisdom teeth at Orban Family Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.