When and Why Wisdom Teeth Extraction is Necessary

When and Why Wisdom Teeth Extraction is Necessary

As parents of teenagers, your children’s health and wellbeing are your top priorities. One crucial health aspect that often goes overlooked is oral health, specifically the importance of wisdom teeth extraction.

Understanding Wisdom Teeth

Typically, wisdom teeth, known scientifically as third molars, make their appearance during adolescence or early adulthood. They are the last set of teeth to develop, but often, there isn’t enough space in the mouth for them. When there isn’t adequate room, a variety of complications can occur, making extraction a necessary course of action.

The Problems with Wisdom Teeth

It’s important to understand the various difficulties that can arise with wisdom teeth. Here’s a list of issues that can occur:

Proof of the Problem

Early detection and prevention are key in any health issue, and the same applies to wisdom teeth. Regular dental check-ups help identify potential problems before they escalate. X-rays can show the presence and position of these teeth, even before they’ve emerged through the gum. If the dentist determines the wisdom teeth could cause trouble, extraction is usually recommended.

The Extraction Process

The thought of having teeth removed can be intimidating, but oral surgeons are trained professionals who perform these procedures daily. Depending on your child’s situation, the process may involve removing all wisdom teeth or just problematic ones. The procedure is typically done under local or general anesthesia to minimize discomfort.

After the extraction, your teen may experience some swelling and discomfort, which can be managed with prescribed pain relief medication. Additionally, some dietary adjustments may be required until the mouth fully heals.

Post-Extraction Care

Proper care after wisdom teeth extraction is essential for optimal healing. Here are some tips:

The Importance of Professional Guidance

Every individual’s oral health needs vary, and while many teenagers might need their wisdom teeth removed, others may not. It’s crucial to rely on the judgment and expertise of dental professionals in these scenarios. Regular check-ups are the foundation of preventive dental care, and your dentist is equipped to make the best recommendation for your child’s unique situation.

In conclusion, while the notion of wisdom teeth extraction might seem daunting, it is often necessary for avoiding potential oral health issues in the future. By keeping informed about the process, complications, and adequate post-procedure care, you can support your teenager on their wisdom tooth journey.

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Wisdom Teeth Postoperative Instructional Video

Wisdom Tooth Removal Postoperative Instructions

Post-Op Bleeding

Bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon, however, bleeding should stop within 24 hours of the procedure.
How to know bleeding has stopped
Often the gauze will be somewhat pink but not deeply red or saturated. If it is somewhat pink, this indicates that bleeding is well controlled. The key is to prevent blood from welling up or dripping out of your mouth.


  1. Place a firm roll of moist gauze directly over the bleeding area and apply continuous pressure by closing the teeth firmly together for 30-45 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
  2. If bleeding persists, bite on a moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannins in the black tea helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels.
  3. Your doctor may have placed stitches or sutures over the extraction socket. These usually dissolve within the first five to seven days after surgery.

Pain Management

For severe pain, prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the below medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take.

Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more each day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.


  1. Our first and most effective regiment to manage pain is to take up to 800mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours for the first 48 hours after surgery.
  2. If your doctor has prescribed you a narcotic pain medicine and ibuprofen is not controlling your pain, you may take the narcotic pain medicine every 4 to 6 hours, in addition to ibuprofen. Please note that it is best to take pain medicines immediately after eating and not on an empty stomach.
  3. If you develop symptoms of nausea, vomiting, skin rash, or diarrhea, stop taking the medication and call our office.

Diet and Hygiene

Try not to miss any meals. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.
What to Eat?
For the first two days after surgery, your diet should be fairly soft. This includes things like mashed potatoes, pudding, Jell-O, protein shakes, soups, or anything that you can put into a blender. After the first two days your diet should slowly increase each day with the goal of being back to a normal diet 7 to 10 days after surgery.
If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible, and follow instructions from us or your physician regarding your insulin schedule.

Special Instructions

No straws, smoking, or forceful spitting for the first week.

Please restart the prescribed mouthwash the day after surgery and discontinue one week after surgery.
You may brush your teeth as normal, however, stay off of the gums when brushing in the area of your surgery.

Swelling and Discoloration

Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face is common. Swelling generally peaks 48 to 72 hours after surgery.
Skin Discoloration
The development of black, blue, green, or yellow skin discoloration of the cheek is due to bruising spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal postoperative occurrence, which may last several weeks.


1. A cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel should be applied firmly; 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off, to the face or cheek adjacent to the surgical area during the first 24 – 48 hours.

2.Pillows logo It is helpful to keep the head elevated on extra pillows, or to sleep in a recliner, the first night after surgery

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What Are Wisdom Teeth?

By the age of eighteen, the average adult has 32 teeth: 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your Third Molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”

Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not need to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The removal of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are not able to erupt properly within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gums or remain trapped beneath the gums.
When these teeth are poorly positioned, they can cause problems. This can include infection, swelling, stiffness, pain and even illness. Long term complications include cavities on the wisdom tooth or the adjacent teeth, gum disease (gingivitis) and bone disease (periodontitis). The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Early removal is recommended to avoid these problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure. 

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, J. Bryan Garrett, DDS, MD, Garrett D. Blundell, DDS, MD, Chad C. Hanley, DDS, and Brandon C. Clyburn, DDS can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist, or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. J. Bryan Garrett, DDS, MD, Garrett D. Blundell, DDS, MD, Chad C. Hanley, DDS, and Brandon C. Clyburn, DDS have the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e. sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Before you leave, you will be given a post-operative kit with post-op instructions as well as instructions on picking up your post-procedure prescription. We will schedule you for a one week follow-up appointment. 

Wisdom Tooth Consultation

Our oral surgeons will examine the wisdom teeth with x-rays of the mouth and an oral examination. They can predict if there may be present or future problems. They will determine, discuss and plan appropriate treatment for each individual case. Patients are generally evaluated by a dentist or orthodontist in the mid-teenage years, but if an evaluation has never been done, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon.