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What To Know If You Have A Wisdom Tooth Infection

When you hit your late teens or early twenties, your wisdom teeth may erupt. These sets of teeth are sometimes called third molars, and they can erupt through your gums a little later in life. In some cases, you may need to have your teeth removed in your teens, late twenties, or even when you're past 30. Regardless of your age, your dentist may recommend a wisdom teeth removal procedure if they pose any risk to your oral health. For example, wisdom teeth cause overcrowding which may affect your ability to maintain proper oral hygiene. This could cause additional oral health problems like infection and tooth decay. 

Wisdom Teeth Removal For Younger Patients

Ideally, the best time to remove wisdom teeth is when a patient is 15-20 years old or as soon as you notice them start to develop.  For parents with teenagers, you need to consult with your family dentist or orthodontist when it's time to have your teen's wisdom teeth removed. The dentist or orthodontist will explain the dangers of not extracting the wisdom teeth and how it can impact your child's oral health. 

One good advantage of having your child's wisdom teeth removed at our facility is that we work with a wide selection of insurance options. Since such a procedure is covered by insurance, the process becomes much easier, and your child can have it done with the best expertise and technology at our disposal. Check out our insurance options to see if we have your insurance in our networks. 

However, you will need to work around your teen's school schedule. Since the procedure takes between 1-7 days to heal, it's best to have it done when the child does not have other commitments so they can rest and focus on healing. We recommend booking to have the procedure done during the holiday or summer breaks.

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How Long Does  It Take To Heal After The Procedure? 

Extracting the wisdom tooth is a painless same-day procedure usually performed using local anesthesia. Sufficient gauze will be administered to control the bleeding and more provided for use at home. Using sophisticated dental technology like 3D X-rays,  dental cameras, 3D printers, and dental labs, we ensure that the procedure is as minimally invasive and painless as possible with accurate results. 

After the procedure, your teen may experience minimal bleeding for a few hours during the day. Recovery time for teen patients can last between 3-4 days. However, if there are complications, it could take up to a week to recover fully. Teen patients generally recover much faster than adults. 

Which Medications Can I Use After My Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?

Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most performed oral health procedures in the United States. It accounts for over 95% of all tooth extractions among teenagers aged 16 to 21. Typically, the oral surgeon may prescribe pain relievers such as Vicodin and hydrocodone, an opioid-based pain killer, to help suppress the pain.

Old woman visiting the dentist taking care of her teeth

Wisdom Teeth Removal In Older Patients

Sometimes patients delay having their wisdom teeth removed at a young age due to several factors. For example, lack of insurance, high dental costs, wrong time, and other factors may cause you to delay the procedure until much later. Regardless of the circumstances, you may want to have them removed if your dentist recommends that because of the negative impact they could have on your oral health. These adverse complications include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Nerve complications around the chin and lip area
  • Chronic tooth pain 
  • Oral infections
  • Sinuses
  • Oral cysts

While you can successfully have your wisdom teeth removed no matter your age, you'll have a longer recovery time compared to teens (usually 2-4 weeks). Thankfully, we accept a wide selection of insurance networks, and since wisdom teeth removal is usually covered by insurance,  you can successfully have it done by our expert oral surgeons.  

However, you'll need to watch for the growth of oral cysts. We may recommend losing one adjacent tooth then replacing it with an implant in cases where it's a better option than removing the wisdom tooth.  An initial consultation with our oral surgeons can help determine which options to choose and which procedure can work best with your situation.

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Which Foods Can You Eat After The Procedure?

Great care should be taken after removing the teeth to help accelerate the healing process and prevent complications. Therefore, you should be sure to follow the doctor's instructions after the procedure. In this case, there are certain foods you should avoid until you've fully recovered. 

Depending on the outcome of the surgery, you may want to avoid food that makes it highly uncomfortable to chew or swallow.  Here are some recommended foods to take after surgery that help support healing without compromising the recommended balanced diet.

  • Avoid eating until the anesthesia wears off to prevent yourself from biting the insides of the mouth and tongue. The best time to eat is 24 hours after the procedure;
  • Consume  soft foods such as yogurt, vegetable cream, purees, and applesauce;
  • Introduce small helpings of semi-soft foods after the discomfort wears off. These include avocado, eggs, cheese, bananas, or fish;
  • Drink lots of water to maintain hydration and supplement it with liquid foods like milk;
  • As the pain gradually wears off, take small helpings of solid foods

You should expect to recover fully after two weeks and resume your regular diet. However, older patients can attain full recovery after 3-4 weeks. Otherwise, avoid eating the following foods until you're fully healed:

  • Hard, crunchy foods that can get stuck between your teeth and prevent your wound from healing. Such foods include nuts, wheat products, and chips;
  • Foods that get trapped in the area where your wisdom tooth was extracted. These include rice, seeds, and cereals;
  • Acidic or spicy foods, including soda and other processed foods that cause pain and irritation to the wound;
  • Alcohol should be avoided for 24 hours to prevent irritation to the wound and interaction with the prescribed medication since it can affect the healing process;
  • Finally, avoid coffee and carbonated drinks, as they could cause tissue irritation

Do I Have To Undergo The Procedure?

Wisdom teeth removal procedure is often recommended for most people, but not everyone. If your wisdom teeth don't cause pain or any oral discomfort, your dentist orthodontist may recommend ways to manage them. However, they are susceptible to infections below the gum line, and that may pose more danger for your overall oral health. Once you notice your wisdom teeth protruding from the gums, you should notify your dentist, who will refer you to an oral surgeon to have them removed.

If you want to learn more about the dangers of not having your wisdom teeth extracted, this eBook contains valuable information on the topic. Otherwise, feel free to schedule an appointment with our oral surgeons today.


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