Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?


The human body is an amazing machine with perfect parts for getting us thru this thing called life. Why is it, then, we usually need to have our wisdom teeth pulled at some point in our lives? It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it?

Let’s take a look at wisdom teeth and why they are removed. Wisdom teeth are the third and final molars on each side of the upper and lower jaws. They are also the final teeth to break thru usually appearing in your late teens or early twenties.

Wisdom teeth that only partially emerge (or come in crooked) can lead to painful crowding and gum disease. Because teeth removed before age 20 have less-developed roots and fewer complications, the American Dental Association recommends that people between 16 and 19 have their wisdom teeth evaluated to see if they need to be removed.

The pain, swelling and discomfort that follows wisdom tooth extraction is a normal part of the healing process. How long is wisdom teeth recovery time? When will you be back to chewing crunchy carrots and apples with ease?

Tooth extraction is a form of out-patient oral surgery. General anesthesia or local anesthesia options are used to make wisdom teeth removal a more comfortable procedure, but pain and discomfort are a part of the process, especially after the anesthesia wears off. After your teeth are pulled, wisdom teeth recovery time begins.

Taking Care of Yourself After Surgery

After getting your wisdom teeth pulled, you are likely to experience pain and swelling. There may even be some bleeding. While your mouth heals, you have to be careful not to dislodge the blood clot or harm your healing gums. You should not consume solid foods, alcohol, coffee, soda or hot beverages in the first few days following your procedure. You shouldn’t even brush your teeth for the first day of recovery. According to most oral surgeons, typical wisdom teeth recovery time is three to four days, although it can be as long as one week. The length of recovery depends a lot on how badly the wisdom teeth were impacted and how they were erupting.

The recovery period can take several days and in some cases there may still be swelling and discomfort for a week or more. Use ice packs, enjoy soft foods and keep your mouth clean with simple salt water. If you notice any unusual symptoms like pus discharge, severe pain or a fever, call your oral surgeon right away. While complications such as an infection are rare, they are possible.


Over 29 Years of Service

Dr. Dennis E. Kelley, D.D.S., and his staff are pleased that you are considering using our services.  We have been practicing general dentistry on the east side of Indianapolis since 1985. Our goal is to make your visit as pleasant and stress free as possible. We pride ourselves in providing a caring and compassionate setting in which you can choose the highest quality dental healthcare. We will provide you with a thorough treatment plan before you commit to any treatment.

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