3 Things to Consider About Wisdom Teeth Removal

Try saying “wisdom tooth removal” in front of adults, and you can definitely hear a few horror stories of pain, bleeding, and swelling.  The wisdom tooth extraction process may not be as bad as you perceived, or it could be far worse for more than one reason.

These are the third and final set of molars that erupt in the late teens and early 20s as per the American Dental Association. They may get stuck or squeeze in a spot with little to no room most of the time, crowding the rest of the teeth.

Moreover, they may erupt at a flat angle and get trapped within the jawbone, causing excessive pain, watery cysts, and damaged bones or teeth, according to Mayo Clinic. In turn, wisdom tooth removal becomes inevitable, and if you’re in the same boat, then here are three things to consider:

1) Wisdom Tooth Removal Requires Some Preparations:

Wisdom tooth removal is a step-by-step process that begins with a dental consultation. Your periodontist will recommend an x-ray to determine the placement of your teeth. He will also assess your wisdom teeth’ condition and the rest of the dental structure. That includes the shape of your jawbone before making any recommendations.

Some people would get one of the wisdom teeth removed while others require extraction of all four to preserve the bite and dental alignment. After a consultation, you can schedule an appointment with detailed instructions on your diet and off-the-counter painkillers and other medicines.

Typically, it’s an outpatient surgery/treatment, so you’ll be going home the same day. Nevertheless, it will cause pain and bleeding, especially on the first. You can also expect bruising and swelling for a week, so use an icepack to lessen the effects.

2) It’s a Routine Procedure:

Today, wisdom tooth removal has become a routine dental treatment to heal the pain caused due to impact. Over years of practice and refinement, the procedure has become swift, safe, and quick for a painless experience. Your dentist will administer general anesthesia, sedation, or local anesthesia, depending on the complex position and your nervousness level.

Once you’re under anesthesia, the doctor will loosen and disconnect surrounding tissues before popping out the wisdom teeth. According to oral surgeons and dentists, the entire process is more about finesse than force and requires extensive training.

Once your dentist removes the tooth, they stitch and bandage the surgical site for quick healing. Since you’ll still be under the influence of anesthesia, it’s best to bring someone with you for a drive to home and aftercare.

3) You’ll Need to Alter Your Diet After Surgery:

For the first few days after surgery, you need to maintain a liquid diet to speed up the healing process. Increase the intake of soups, clear broth, yogurt, smoothies, shakes, and pudding and, after that, move to a semi-solid and solid diet.

For another weak, you’ll rely on semi-solid, soft food such as boiled potatoes, vegetable purees, applesauce, noodles, oatmeal, and porridges. You’ll be able to resume a regular diet within two weeks, depending on the condition of your wisdom teeth sockets but stay away from crunchy and chewy foods for complete recovery.

If your wisdom teeth are causing you discomfort, feel free to reach out to us for professional consultation and wisdom teeth removal.

5 Tips to Keep Your Jaw Healthy as You Age

We all know aging is a natural part of life. And most of us start considering ways in which we can keep our bodies healthy as we age. We eat better. We step up our exercise routine. We even take extra vitamin supplements in the hopes that our bones and joints remain in healthy condition.


So why do so many of us take our jaws for granted?


We all know that tooth decay and gum disease can happen at any time—even if you’re older than 65. And most of us take preventative steps to combat it. But did you know that musculoskeletal conditions such as TMJD can occur in up to 12 percent of the U.S. population? And did you know that older Americans are particularly susceptible to it?


Don’t take the health of your jaws for granted. Here are 5 tips to keep them strong and healthy.


1.   Healthy Bones, Healthy Jaws


We all know calcium prevents osteoporosis. But most of us quickly forget that our jaws are also made of bone. As our bodies age, our ability to absorb calcium declines. Postmenopausal women in particular are more susceptible to bone disease and should strive for a calcium intake of at least 1200 mgs a day. But don’t think that men can’t be impacted by bone decay, either. Even if you think your intake is adequate, men between the ages of 45 and 70 should still try to ensure at least 1000 mgs of calcium each day; adjust your intake to 1200 mg.


2.   Stop Grinding Your Teeth!


Teeth grinding is a habit many of us are entirely aware of. That’s because it happens primarily at night while we’re asleep. But teeth grinding can also occur during times of stress and even in deep thought. It’s not just responsible for tooth damage. Headaches are just as common with tooth grinding and inevitably what goes for teeth will eventually affect your jaw, as well. Typically, your surgeon can identify signs of damaged teeth caused by grinding, and may even suggest Botox injections if the need is particularly drastic..


3.   Eat Clean. Eat Healthier


If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably already eating a balanced diet as you age. But that’s the key word: balance. Strive for a mixture of hard and soft foods for a healthy jaw, including calcium rich foods such as:


  • Almonds
  • Beans and lentils
  • Celery
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Oranges
  • Sardines
  • Seeds, nuts and grains
  • Tofu


4.   Give Your Jaw A Break


It’s common to recommend a course of regular jaw stretches for maximal health as we age. The problem comes when we overwork them. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can be overused by excessive talking, eating too many hard foods… even chewing gum! It needs time to rest. Don’t try to stretch your jaw for more than 10 minutes each morning and massage it regularly if you feel stiffness or tenderness.


5.   Visit Your Dentist More Frequently


It’s a good rule of thumb that most people under the age of 50 should visit their dentist at least once a quarter. But as we age, the resilience of our gums, jaw and teeth begins to fade slowly. As a result, you may need to find it necessary to visit your dentist or oral health specialist more often to keep your jaws at peak performance. Remember, it’s the health of your entire mouth you need to be concerned with as you age.


And you won’t get a chance to buy another one.


If you’re in Southern Utah and are concerned about the health of your jaw, you may be experiencing more than periodic discomfort. We can help. Find out more about Dr. Shawn Davis and his team at the Oral and Facial Surgery Institute.