One major change your mouth goes through as you age is the introduction of your wisdom teeth, which begin growing between the ages of 17 and 21. While wisdom teeth can grow in without notice, Audrey May-Jones, DDS, knows they have a habit of causing mouth pain and infection. At Proud To Serve Family Dentistry in Norman, Oklahoma, Dr. Audrey will examine your wisdom teeth and determine whether they need to be extracted to alleviate tooth pain and prevent infection. Call or book an appointment online today to learn more.
Wisdom teeth are your third and final molars. They’re referred to as wisdom teeth because they typically grow in when you’re older, between the ages of 17 and 21. If they grow incorrectly, wisdom teeth can help you chew better. However, in many cases, your mouth doesn’t have enough room to support your wisdom teeth. If they become impacted, your final molars can cause a broad range of oral health problems.
If your wisdom teeth are partially impacted, Dr. Audrey will be able to see your crowns penetrating through your gums. Partial impaction leads to a series of dental issues, depending on whether your wisdom teeth are growing in an angular or horizontal position. In a horizontal position, your wisdom teeth can begin pushing on your surrounding teeth, causing misalignment and TMJ. A partial eruption also creates small openings for bacteria to grow and fester, leading to swelling, pain, and infection.
Fully impacted wisdom teeth occur when your third molars never break through the gums. These teeth can fully grow inside your gums at an angle, pushing your surrounding teeth, causing excruciating gum pain, jaw pain, and headaches. In some cases, your wisdom teeth can grow completely straight but still be trapped inside your jawbone.
Dr. Audrey will perform a number of X-rays and digital scans to determine whether your wisdom teeth are partially impacted, fully impacted, or growing in nicely. However, some impaction symptoms to watch out for at home include:
The above symptoms may mean your wisdom teeth are impacted and in need of extraction. The sooner you contact Dr. Audrey about your treatment options, the easier your recovery will be.
Whether you have partially impacted or fully impacted wisdom teeth, the most recommended treatment option is a wisdom tooth extraction surgery. Dr. Audrey can perform this surgery in the comfort of her office.
Once you decide that extraction is the right option for you, Dr. Audrey will give you anesthesia or sedation to prepare for the surgery. Next, she’ll make an incision in your gums and jawbone, if necessary, to remove your wisdom tooth from its socket.
After the tooth is fully removed, Dr. Audrey will give you stitches and pack the socket with gauze to help with the bleeding, so you can heal comfortably. For the first few days, your mouth will feel sore and swollen, but those symptoms should improve dramatically within the first week. If the pain and swelling don’t improve, it’s important to contact Dr. Audrey right away.
The earlier you remove impacted wisdom teeth, the quicker your recovery will be. To learn more about wisdom teeth extraction, call Proud To Serve Family Dentistry or book an appointment online today.