Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth, or sometimes referred to as third molars, get their name from the order in which they come in – the last set of molars to erupt, during young adulthood. They are the final set of teeth to come in on either side of the upper and lower jaw, of which you can expect to see during the late teen years to early twenties.

The wisdom teeth can cause a wide variety of issues, as it is a common occurrence for up to all four of the teeth to erupt crooked, to emerge only partially, or to not be able to come in at all due to lack of room in the mouth.

It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) that wisdom teeth are removed before the age of 20 because prior to this point the teeth have much less developed roots, which ultimately leads to fewer difficulties. For this very reason, Jonathan Woodyard, DMD will routinely examine the progress of the wisdom teeth as part of your regular dental exams. This will allow Dr. Woodyard to determine whether the wisdom teeth require extraction before they cause any serious complications.

Complications With Wisdom Teeth

There are many indications that you can look out for that may suggest that there is a problem with your wisdom teeth such as pain and discomfort, uncharacteristic tooth decay and even gum disease. The latter two of the three indications are a result of the difficulty that comes along with the inability to properly care for teeth that are so far back in the mouth. In addition to these common problems, cysts can sometimes form below the surface of the teeth, which tend to put pressure on nerves that exist within the jaw.

Instructions Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Following the extraction of your wisdom teeth you can expect certain occurrences such as oozing, bleeding, and soreness, as well as pain and discomfort. Basic post-operative instructions that you should follow include:

  • Discomfort: Pain and discomfort following the extraction of the wisdom teeth is most commonly managed by use of mild analgesics such as Advil, Aleve or Tylenol. If your pain gets to be severe and lasts for more than 2 to 3 days, please call Dr. Woodyard's office immediately.

  • Bleeding: All bleeding should subside by around 8-12 hours following extraction. If bleeding becomes severe or lasts longer than this window, then please call our office immediately. Note - oozing of pinkish fluids is normal for the 1-2 days following the extraction.

  • After 24 hours: After 24 hours, you should begin gently rinsing with a warm saltwater solution 3-4 times a day for at least 1 minute per occurrence. This helps to reduce the number of potentially harmful bacteria in the mouth and promotes healing.

  • Healing: In order to ensure a smooth recovery following extraction, try your best not to irritate the extraction site. This means a soft diet for at least 24 hours following the removal, as well as no vigorous rinsing or drinking through a straw within the first 24 hours.

Please feel free to contact the office of Dr. Woodyard should you have any additional questions concerning wisdom teeth.