Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure that many adults have to undergo. However, this extraction also comes with some pain during healing. To ease concerns and have more realistic expectations, patients should understand the process of extraction and how to help discomfort after.
When Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary?
Removing wisdom teeth is one of the most common dental procedures that many people need today because their jaws are too short to accommodate these late-erupting teeth. Because the mouth doesn’t have space for the teeth, they may become impacted, which happens when they get trapped as they grow. Impacted wisdom teeth need removal to correct the following symptoms they cause, which can include:
- Redness or swelling in the gums
- Jaw pain or swelling
- Problems opening the mouth fully
These signs indicate a need for a dentist to evaluate the state of the teeth throughout the mouth and determine if the patient needs a wisdom teeth removal procedure. Other reasons for needing the procedure may include wisdom teeth that press against or damage other teeth nearby or having cavities or root infections in the wisdom teeth.
What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Removal?
During wisdom teeth extraction, the patient has anesthesia both locally applied at the site and an option for sedation. These means of numbing the area and relaxing the patient prevent wisdom teeth pain from occurring as the dentist removes them.
Because wisdom teeth may lie partially under the gums, the dentist must use imaging to guide them during the procedure. X-rays and a visual inspection of the mouth help the dentist to plan the procedure for the most efficient means of removing the teeth.
To access each wisdom tooth, the dentist must cut into the patient’s gums and occasionally the jawbone. Then, using specialty tools for tooth loosening and removal, they pull out each wisdom tooth. Some patients may have stitches placed over their incisions, depending on their anatomy and the incision size. Not all patients will need stitches. Due to the use of sedation, patients will need someone to drive them home.
How to Stop Wisdom Teeth Pain After Extraction
Wisdom teeth pain after the extraction starts as the anesthesia wears off, usually a few hours after the procedure. To help ease the pain, always follow all the dentist’s instructions for preventing dry sockets and keeping the mouth clean. Other ways to help the pain and prevent complications include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids but avoiding straws that could dislodge blood clogs
- Brushing after the second day but avoiding the treated teeth
- Eating soft foods such as soup, rice, pudding, pasta, or ice cream
- Placing a cold pack or ice pack wrapped in a towel against the cheek to reduce swelling
- Contacting the dentist with any questions or concerns
Usually, the wisdom teeth pain will subside within a few days. If it doesn’t or if it worsens, patients should contact their dentist. Full healing in the mouth may require a week or longer, depending on the number of teeth removed and the patient’s health.
Those concerned about the pain should discuss medications they can take with the dentist before the extraction. Some patients may only need to take over-the-counter medication, while others may require prescription pain relievers. The dentist will examine the patient’s history and make a decision for each case.
Schedule a San Francisco Dental Appointment at Zeal Dentistry
Wisdom teeth pain does not last forever after an extraction. In some cases, removing the teeth could improve the health of the whole mouth. For those who need dental care or wisdom teeth removal, contact Zeal Dentistry in San Francisco online or by phone at 415.792.4771. Our convenient location in the heart of San Francisco is the same site where we’ve always been, providing our patients with professional dental service.