Can wisdom teeth grow back after extraction? Why remove wisdom teeth? What are the signs and symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth? How to reduce swelling after wisdom tooth extraction? And finally, how can we reduce the pain of wisdom teeth before and after surgery?
I. Can wisdom teeth grow back after extraction?
No, wisdom teeth do not grow back after extraction. However, it is possible for someone to have more than the typical four wisdom teeth.
These extra teeth, which may appear after the removal of the original wisdom teeth, are called supernumerary teeth.
III. Why remove wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are often considered the most problematic teeth. They cause a number of problems that prompt patients to consult their dentist:
- Dystopia is when the tooth grows in the wrong position or direction. This can injure the mucous membrane of the mouth, disturb the placement of neighboring teeth and cause malocclusion.
- The rapid onset of cavities, as these teeth are difficult to clean and maintain. They grow in hard-to-reach places, sticking to the teeth next to them. Food debris accumulates, forming plaque and tartar.
- Root caries is particularly insidious, as it is not visible to the naked eye. It develops deep under the gum, remains asymptomatic for a long time, and can spread to the neighboring tooth.
- Various cysts, which can grow to a large volume and affect adjacent teeth.
III. Signs and symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. The most common are
- Pain and swelling at the back of the mouth
- Red, sensitive gums
- Bad breath or taste in the mouth
- Difficulty opening mouth
- Problems biting and chewing
- Blocked or stuck jaw
- Swollen gums
- Crowding of other teeth
If you notice any of these signs, consult a dentist or oral surgeon for diagnosis and treatment options.
Even without apparent symptoms, it’s important to keep an eye on impacted wisdom teeth. Regular monitoring helps prevent problems and maintain good oral health.
IV. How can I reduce swelling after wisdom tooth extraction?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that some swelling is part of the body’s normal healing process.
However, there are a number of steps you can take to speed up healing and reduce discomfort.
Immediately after extraction, apply a cold compress or ice pack to the affected cheek intermittently – 15 minutes at a time – to reduce swelling and numb the area, which will relieve pain.
This practice is particularly effective in the 24 hours following surgery.
In addition, keeping the head elevated, especially during sleep, can prevent blood from pooling in the area, thereby reducing inflammation.
Gentle, lukewarm rinsing with salt water several times a day, starting 24 hours after surgery, can also help soothe the swollen area and keep it clean.
V. Age of onset of wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth generally start to erupt after the age of 17, once the crowns of the second molars have formed. Their roots are then actively developing. This process can begin a little earlier, at around 14-15 years of age.
However, the eruption of wisdom teeth varies greatly from one individual to another. Each of the 4 teeth erupts independently.
The first may erupt young, the last much later. Cases have even been observed at 20, 30 or even over 50 years of age!
It’s also possible for wisdom teeth to cause pain without piercing the gums.
In short, the age at which wisdom teeth appear is highly individual. They can appear at very different ages, from adolescence to old age. Regular monitoring will help detect their eruption and prevent possible problems.
VI. Will my teeth straighten after wisdom teeth extraction?
While wisdom teeth extraction can help prevent crowding and misalignment, it’s important to understand that the extraction itself is not a corrective measure for crooked teeth.
In other words, wisdom teeth extraction will not automatically straighten existing teeth.
If teeth have already shifted due to the pressure exerted by impacted or crooked wisdom teeth, orthodontic intervention may be necessary to correct the alignment.
VII. How to reduce wisdom tooth pain before and after surgery
There are many ways to manage discomfort and minimize pain before and after wisdom teeth extraction surgery. Here are some common strategies for reducing discomfort before or after tooth extraction:
- Over-the-counter analgesics, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help relieve pain if it’s not very intense.
- Cold compresses: Apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a thin towel to the outside of your cheek, near the painful area. You can leave it on the outside of your cheek for about 15 minutes. This can help numb the inflamed area.
- Salt water rinse: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and swish the solution around gently. Wash your mouth with this solution for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat this process several times a day.
- Oral hygiene: It’s essential to get rid of all the bacteria that cause inflammation and the resulting pain. You can also floss regularly and use an antiseptic mouthwash for better results.
- Avoid hard, crunchy foods: Eating hard, crunchy, or chewy foods can exacerbate pain and inflammation around wisdom teeth. Opt for soft foods, including soups, smoothies, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and scrambled eggs.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help remove food particles and bacteria from the mouth, reducing the risk of infection and inflammation around wisdom teeth.
- Elevate your head: When lying down or sleeping, support your head with pillows to help reduce swelling and pressure around the affected area.
- Use a topical numbing gel: These over-the-counter numbing gels containing benzocaine are sometimes very effective in controlling pain when applied to the gums around wisdom teeth.
- Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods: Green vegetables, berries, fatty fish and nuts can help reduce inflammation and pain.