Do you need to get your wisdom teeth removed? Why are they called wisdom teeth anyway? What should you do after you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed? Learn all about wisdom teeth in this week’s blog.
What’s in a name?
Evidence shows that this third set of molars that comes in sometime in your late teens or early 20s was referred to as your “teeth of wisdom” since the 17th century. In the 19th century, this was shortened to “wisdom teeth.” It is thought that this practice started because these teeth come in when you’re older and hence “wiser” than when your other teeth came in.
Do I need to get my wisdom teeth removed?
Some people can get away with leaving their wisdom teeth in, but most people will need to have them removed. This is because your wisdom teeth can cause a lot of problems in your mouth. They can displace other teeth and causing crowding. They can only partially erupt through the gumline, creating spots where bacteria can get in and cause an infection. They’re harder to reach with floss and your toothbrush, making it more likely that they will decay and cause other problems. Finally, they can cause pain in your mouth. If you go to the dentist on a regular basis, he or she will be well aware of the progress of your wisdom teeth and whether or not they need to be removed.
After you get your wisdom teeth removed…
After you get your wisdom teeth removed, you can expect a number of things.
- You may have facial swelling in the area around the tooth. An ice pack and/or over-the-counter pain medication can help. Your dentist might prescribe prescription pain medication as well.
- The areas from which the teeth were removed may bleed up to 24 hours after the procedure. Place a clean and moist piece of gauze over the socket and bite, holding the gauze there for 45 minutes. Apply new gauze if necessary.
- You may experience abnormal pain in the sockets. This is called a dry socket, and happens when a blood clot is dislodged from or doesn’t form in the socket. Your dentist can treat dry sockets.
There are several things you should do to ensure your recovery goes well.
- Eat soft foods for a few days.
- Avoid sucking motions with your mouth such as using a straw or smoking.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water before bed and after you eat. Don’t use mouthwash if you usually do.
If you would like more information on wisdom teeth, or think its time for a visit to the dentist, call Olney Dental! You can reach us at (301) 250-1057 or, you can schedule an appointment online.You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube.