- Wisdom teeth or third molars are the teeth furthest away in the dental arches and they are usually the last ones to erupt… if they ever come out!
- For their eruption to occur normally, there must be sufficient growth at the back of the jaws to accommodate these teeth. For most people who have all their permanent teeth, this happens rarely and wisdom teeth fail to erupt.
- Teeth that have not completed their eruption within a reasonable time are called “impacted” if they are completely submerged under the gum and “semi-impacted” if they pierce through the gum only partially.
- The dental community agrees to recommend the extraction of third molars that are symptomatic or cause problems (pain, infection, damage to other teeth, etc.).
- Wisdom teeth have historically been blamed for many problems. They are accused, among other things, to cause tooth movement by exerting pressure on other teeth when trying to erupt. This would be responsible for the movement of other teeth and the increase in dental crowding and rotation of the anterior teeth with time.
Myth: Wisdom teeth must always be removed.
Fact: Wisdom teeth don’t always cause trouble when they do show up. In fact, there may not even be a need for extraction if they are healthy and properly aligned. However, wisdom teeth often pose complications such as partial eruption – that is, they only partially break through the gums. This allows bacteria to form around the tooth and result in pain, jaw stiffness, swelling, and other dangerous complications.
Myth: Ice cream and milkshakes are great after an extraction.
Fact: Thankfully, this one is TRUE! The fact that they’re soft makes it easy to ingest and the fact they’re cold helps soothe the pain and the swelling. However, it’s important not to use a straw because suction can dislodge the clots resulting from the surgery.
Myth: Pain and Swelling after tooth removal.
Fact: It's not uncommon to experience some level of pain for the first few days after having a tooth removed. But by at least 72 hours postoperatively (the completion of day 3 after your surgery) you should notice that its intensity has begun to subside. In those cases where it hasn't, you should be in contact with your dentist so they can evaluate your situation.
Trauma created during the tooth extraction process can cause postoperative swelling. Any swelling that does occurs usually reaches its peak between 24 to 48 hours after your surgery.