Wisdom teeth serve no useful purpose, and when they are impacted, it is impossible to clean them properly, and bacteria, plaque, and food debris accumulate around them. This can lead to gun disease, tooth decay, and abscess of the wisdom teeth, the molars next to them, and gum tissue as well. If your dentist recommends removing your wisdom teeth, it is best to have the procedure performed before the roots have formed completely, during the teenage years. Young people generally tolerate surgery well. Most patients who have their wisdom teeth extracted experience little disruption of their usual schedule, and the need to spend time recuperating is also minimal.
What You Should Do
After having wisdom tooth removal, you can brush your teeth as usual. However, for the first 24 hours, make an effort to avoid those teeth that surround the site of the extracted tooth. After that, you can resume brushing your teeth gently, but do not use a commercial mouth rinse as this may cause irritation and interfere with the healing process.
What You Can Expect
Sutures are used during the procedure, and there is no reason to be alarmed if they become dislodged. If this happens, simply remove and discard them. In any event, they will dissolve in a week following surgery. Any swelling or pain you experience should decrease gradually, and if anything unexpected occurs, be sure to contact your dentist.
Within the next month, the site where your wisdom tooth was extracted will fill in gradually with new tissue. During that period, remember to keep the area clean after eating with a salt-water rinse or by using your toothbrush.
If bleeding continues after you return home, place gauze over the site, and firmly hold it in place for half an hour. Also, while you are resting, use a lounge chair or elevate your head on several pillows for 12 hours. (If you smoke, wait 24 hours, because this can cause pain and bleeding, which can also interfere with healing.) In addition, be sure that you wait 12 hours before brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth. Then, rinse with ½ teaspoon of salt in 4 ounces of water every two hours, and whenever you brush your teeth.
“Wisdom Teeth – Oral Surgery Care.” Oral Surgery Care. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2010. http://www.oralsurgerycare.com/wisdomteeth.html.
“Wisdom Teeth.” Cleveland Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2010. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/dental_care/hic_wisdom_teeth.aspx.
“Tooth Extraction Care – Dental Health Magazine.” WorlDental.org – Dental Health Magazine. Free Dentistry Information and Dental News for Patients. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2010. http://worldental.org/gums/tooth-extraction-care.