Wisdom Teeth Charlotte NC
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that develop at the back of the mouth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. Not everyone develops wisdom teeth, and some people may have only one or two rather than a full set of four.
The name "wisdom teeth'' comes from the idea that they emerge when a person is becoming wiser or more mature. However, wisdom teeth can also be a source of pain, infection, and other complications. Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery can help you alleviate impacted wisdom teeth at our Steele Creek office today.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Do you really need your wisdom teeth removed? That's a question many people ask themselves, and the answer is not always straightforward. In general, wisdom teeth should be removed if they cause complications, are impacted, or if they have the potential to cause problems in the future.
When wisdom teeth are impacted, they are unable to emerge fully from the gum line, leading to pain, swelling, and even damage to surrounding teeth and bone. As such, their elimination becomes essential to avoid escalating the condition. Although, the decision to remove wisdom teeth should be made in consultation with our dentist or oral surgeon, who can evaluate your situation and recommend the best course of action.
Causes of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
There are a variety of causes of impacted wisdom teeth. Most commonly, impacted wisdom teeth occur when there isn't enough room in the mouth to accommodate them. This can cause them to grow at an angle, press against other teeth, or even stay trapped beneath the gum line.
In some cases, the angle at which the wisdom teeth grow can also cause them to push against the adjacent teeth, causing pain and discomfort. Other factors that can contribute to impacted wisdom teeth include genetics.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a variety of uncomfortable and often painful symptoms. One common symptom is pain or tenderness in the back of the mouth or jaw, making it difficult to chew or open the mouth fully. Swelling or redness in the gums or jaw is another sign of impacted wisdom teeth. In some cases, an impacted tooth can even cause a sore throat or difficulty swallowing. Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may also be present, as the partially impacted tooth can create a space for bacteria to grow.
How Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removed?
The process of removing impacted wisdom teeth starts with thorough preparation. Our dentist or oral surgeon will first evaluate your teeth and surrounding tissues using x-rays and other diagnostic tools to determine the extent of impaction and the best course of action.
Our dentist will first numb the area with local anesthesia during the procedure. Sometimes, they may recommend sedation to help you relax during the procedure. Once you're numb, they gently cut the gum tissue to access the impacted tooth. They will then remove any bone blocking access to the tooth and gently wiggle the tooth back and forth until it loosens from the jawbone.
If the tooth is too large to be removed in one piece, our dentist may need to break it into smaller pieces to remove it safely. Once the impacted tooth is removed, we will clean the wound and close the incision with stitches. Sometimes, our dentist may place gauze in the socket to control bleeding and promote clotting. The procedure usually takes around 45 minutes, and the patient can usually go home the same day.
Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Hurt?
The wisdom teeth removal procedure is painless. You will be subjected to local anesthesia, which will numb the surrounding areas of your mouth. Consequently, you will be exposed to sedatives like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral sedatives for relaxation. Therefore, with the right level of sedation and anesthesia, you will feel little to no discomfort during the procedure. Any discomfort you may feel after the procedure can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
After the wisdom teeth removal, you need to take proper care of your wounds to prevent complications and accelerate your recovery. Our dentist recommends placing an extra pillow under your head when you lie down to help reduce swelling. Avoiding strenuous activity, especially in the first few days after your procedure, is also important to promote healing.
Our dentist also advises patients to avoid rinsing their mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery to allow for the formation of a blood clot. After that, you can gently rinse with warm salt water to help keep the area clean. Consequently, only eat soft, easy-to-chew foods and avoid using straws or smoking, which can dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.
What Are the Disadvantages of removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Removing impacted wisdom teeth can have drawbacks, including bleeding, nerve damage, and damage to blood vessels. The procedure requires cutting through the gum tissue and removing some bone to access the tooth, which may cause bleeding and be difficult to control.
Additionally, nerves that supply sensation to the lips, tongue, and jaw and blood vessels that supply the jaw and surrounding tissues can be affected during the surgery. It is crucial to follow our surgeon's instructions to reduce the risk of complications and seek medical attention if necessary.
Is it Normal to Have a Black Hole in the Mouth After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
It is not uncommon to have a "black hole" or dark area in the socket where a wisdom tooth was removed. This is due to the blood clot that forms in the socket after the tooth is removed. The clot can appear dark or black as it heals and protects the underlying bone and tissues. However, if the dark area is accompanied by severe pain, swelling, or a foul odor, it may indicate a dry socket or infection. As such, you should contact our dentist or oral surgeon for evaluation and treatment.
Ultimately, if your wisdom teeth are aching due to impaction, or you feel like you have a dental complication, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery for a consultation. Our Steele Creek office is also proud to offer other services like dental implants and Botox. Reach us at (980) 332-7990 today to learn more.