Extracting Wisdom Teeth

Your third molars, or wisdom teeth, are usually the last to make their appearance in your mouth. Some people don’t even have them break through at all. Whether or not they erupt, they can wreak havoc in your mouth if there isn’t enough room for them. If they become impacted, removal becomes even more important.

Your dentist will monitor your wisdom teeth through examinations and X-rays, and will recommend extraction if it appears they may cause any complications. Some dentists suggest removing them even if they aren’t impacted, as they can be difficult to clean and therefore prone to decay. Wisdom teeth may even get infected, requiring immediate medical attention. Symptoms of infected wisdom teeth can include:

  • Pain in the tooth and gums
  • Gum bleeding
  • Gum inflammation
  • Swelling in the face and jaw
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath

If your dentist says you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t put it off because it is better to have them removed before further complications occur. Usually, you will be referred to an oral surgeon for extraction. If only one tooth is involved, local anesthesia may be sufficient. The removal of multiple wisdom teeth typically requires general anesthesia, and is a day surgery so that you can return home afterwards.

It is important for you to follow your doctor’s instructions after tooth extraction to avoid problems. Your activities might be restricted for the first day or two, ice or heat can be helpful, and care should be taken if stitches are present. You will also be given a list of foods that are suggested during your recovery. If you follow all of your doctor’s advice, you can be expect to return to your normal activities soon and no longer have to worry about any problems those teeth might cause.


We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

Why Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

A wisdom tooth is often extracted to correct an existing dental problem or to prevent the possibility of problems that may arise in the future. Some problems associated with wisdom teeth are:

  • Your jaw may be too small to accommodate the eruption of your wisdom teeth, leading them to become impacted (stuck in the jaw, often under the edge of an adjacent tooth) and unable to erupt through your gums.
  • Your wisdom teeth may partially erupt, leaving a flap of soft gum tissue to grow over the tooth. Food, bacteria and germs can get trapped underneath this gum flap, leading to swelling, redness and pain, which are signs of infection.
  • Impacted teeth can lead to a more serious problem, such as acute infection, damage to the surrounding teeth, damage to the bone or the development of a cyst.
  • Wisdom teeth can present at an awkward angle, coming in with the top of the tooth facing sideways, forward or backward.

Removing your wisdom teeth can be a good method to prevent:

  • crowding at the back of the mouth
  • an impacted wisdom tooth stuck in the jaw and never erupting
  • painful gums or infection caused by a flap of gum skin
  • gum disease or tooth decay in the individual wisdom tooth or in the surrounding teeth and gums

You may want to have your wisdom teeth removed when you are younger because:

  • The younger you are, the less developed your wisdom teeth roots are, and the less dense your jawbone, allowing for an easier extraction of the tooth.
  • The majority of problems with wisdom teeth begin between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five.
  • If you have a medical condition that is known to worsen with time, you may choose to have your wisdom teeth out early, while you are in your best health, to facilitate maximum healing.

Wisdom teeth extraction is rarely harmful, but there are risks associated with any surgery. Talk to your dentist today about any concerns you have regarding wisdom tooth extraction.

Schedule your appointment at our Clinton NJ dental office