Friday, November 7, 2014

Dentists And Your Wisdom Teeth

Ah, wisdom-tooth surgery. The laughing gas, the puffed-up cheeks, the ensuing days of eating only ice cream. Not everyone gets wisdom teeth, but those who do often need to have them pulled before they can cause complications.

Wisdom teeth compose a second set of molars that grow behind your existing molars. They can cause pain as they grow and push against the gums and other teeth. But whether you're feeling pain or not, let's take a look at how you and your dentist can detect and remove these pesky bones.


An x-ray at your routine dental checkup will allow your dentist to look for complications with your wisdom teeth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, but, oddly, some can have up to nine or ten. These obsolete molars serve no practical purpose, but can be dangerous if they're pushing against your regular molars. Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. Extraction is usually only necessary if the teeth threaten to push other teeth out of whack, or to damage gums or nerves. They can also form cysts inside your gums and can also grow toward major nerves in your jaw.


If needed, dentists will recommend an oral surgeon to perform your surgery. Don't worry about the pain of the surgery - dentists use several methods of numbing the surgical area. Before the surgery, you'll choose whether the surgeon will administer anesthesia or laughing gas. The former will knock you out cold, and you'll wake up after the surgery with a few less teeth and no memory of how you lost them. Laughing gas will prevent you from feeling pain, but you'll be awake, watching as the procedure takes place. Some dentists may also administer simple Novocain, locally numbing your gums but still keeping you conscious. Surgery is fairly short - extraction usually takes 30 minutes at most. Afterwards, your gums will be stitched back together to prevent bleeding.


After surgery, your job is to care for the tender, stitched surgical areas in your gums. They may bleed regularly for a few days, so you may be advised to softly bite down on gauze over the extraction points.

Your mouth will likely hurt for the first few days, and you may be prescribed painkillers to combat this. You'll need to restrict yourself to soft foods - yogurt, ice cream, Jello - until the surgical wounds heal. You'll also have to gargle with salt water to clean the areas, as you won't want to attack those spots too harshly with a toothbrush. Do not prod or pull at the stitches, as this will only increase bleeding and slow the healing process. The stitches are plastic, and will dissolve naturally in your mouth after a week or so. As they begin to loosen on their own, you'll know that the healing process is moving along.

When looking for friendly, professional dentists in Lakewood, Ohio visit Greg Devor DDS. Learn more about our services at
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