Long ago, we needed wisdom teeth to help us chew large amounts of plant matter. Now, most people don’t have room for them and need to have them removed. They typically erupt (break through the gums) between the ages of 17 and 25, and if you or your child’s mouth doesn’t have room for them, it’s best to remove them as soon as possible.
Problems With Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth start developing in your jawbone and eventually (sometimes) emerge through the gums. We call them “impacted” if they become lodged, stuck or emerge improperly. In nearly all cases, impacted wisdom teeth will cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Swollen and bleeding gums
- Jaw swelling
- Bad breath
- Aching head or jaw
- Unpleasant taste while eating
Discovering Impacted Wisdom Teeth
You’ll know it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed in one of two ways:
- Through routine X-rays, your dentist will detect that your wisdom teeth are currently impacted or at risk of becoming impacted.
- Your mouth or jaws will bother you.
We recommend the first option. Generally, the younger you are, the faster you’ll recover from your procedure. As your wisdom teeth age, their roots mature, and you’re more likely to suffer complications after having them removed. Also, the level of impaction will worsen over time. Removing your wisdom teeth before they become deeply problematic will reduce your overall pain and recovery time.
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, we can help. Our oral surgeons have extensive experience removing wisdom teeth — it’s the most common procedure we perform. We’ll start by reviewing your X-rays and scheduling your surgery. All of our surgeries are performed under general anesthesia in one of our six state-of-the-art surgical suites.
You’ll be able to return home the same day, and with proper care, you can expect to recover within a week. To ensure your experience goes smoothly, make sure you follow your surgeon’s pre- and post-operative instructions.