Sometimes your wisdom teeth don’t grow in like they should, and when that happens, removal may be necessary. Wisdom teeth are the third and most final set of molars in the mouth. When they grow in properly and healthy, they can be a valuable asset, but more often than not, they are misaligned and require removal. There are many reasons that might call for the removal of wisdom teeth, they can damage other teeth, inflame the gums, or damage your jaw. If your dentist sees that your wisdom teeth are causing these problems, or X-rays show they might down the road, they may decide that they need to be removed. Luckily, the process is fairly quick and recovery lasts no more than a few days.

Removal Process

When you sit down to have your wisdom teeth removed, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. A general anesthetic may be used to put you to sleep and numb the whole body if multiple wisdom teeth are being removed at the same time. If this is the case, your dentist will recommend that you don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before to prepare yourself for the anesthetic. The procedure itself involves your dentist opening up the gums and removing any bone covering the tooth before removing the tooth itself. Once the tooth is removed stitches may be needed.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery

Recovery lasts only a few days in most cases. Your dentist will most likely prescribe painkillers, and these tips can also help speed up recovery.

  • Gently bite down on the gauze pad periodically, and don’t forget to change pads as they become bloody. Bleeding should subside within 24 hours of surgery.
  • Do not lie flat, as this may prolong bleeding. Try to always have your head propped up by pillows.
  • Eat soft foods. Add solid foods back slowly as you heal.
  • Don’t use straws to drink for the first few days. The sucking motion can delay healing.

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