If you have a wisdom teeth removal procedure scheduled soon, you might have a few questions about the procedure and how you should go about caring for your mouth during your recovery. One common issue patients have after their procedure is the development of a dry socket, which is preventable with proper care. Following are answers to some frequently asked questions about this procedure and special considerations to take after surgery.
Why should wisdom teeth be removed?
Wisdom teeth have a very high extraction rate because their eruption through the gums can cause numerous oral health concerns. These teeth come in years after tooth transition, and when they do, there is often not enough space in the mouth for them to properly emerge through the gums. Since the adult teeth are already established and space is tight, wisdom teeth typically become impacted. This means that they become stuck in the gum tissue and if any tooth structure is exposed, it is only partial. Partially exposed teeth and the gum tissue surrounding them are prone to infection. This is because food and bacteria can reside under the gums of the partially exposed tooth. When wisdom teeth are retained, they are prone to abscesses and decay. To add further insult to injury, retaining these teeth can lead to orthodontic and occlusion issues.
What is dry socket and how can I prevent it?
After a tooth is extracted, it is important for a blood clot to form over the empty tooth socket. The blood clot allows the gums to heal while protecting the extraction site from debris and bacteria. A dry socket means that the clot has been detached from the extraction site. This can occur when patients touch the extraction site or brush the area with a toothbrush. To prevent dry socket, patients should closely follow their oral surgeon’s post-operative instructions and avoid touching the extraction site with their fingers, tongue, or toothbrush. If you develop dry socket, call our office and speak with our team about what steps to take to improve your recovery and comfort level. For more information, contact Texas Oral Surgery Specialists at 817-552-3223 today.