Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to develop in the back of the mouth. While some people have enough space to accommodate these teeth, others may experience problems due to a lack of space or misalignment of the teeth. In such cases, extraction of wisdom teeth may be necessary. Some of the common reasons for wisdom tooth extraction in Singapore include:
- Impacted wisdom teeth: When there is not enough space in the jaw for wisdom teeth to grow properly, they may become impacted, which means they are unable to fully emerge from the gums. This can lead to pain, infection, and even damage to adjacent teeth.
- Overcrowding: If there is not enough space in the mouth to accommodate the wisdom teeth, they may push against adjacent teeth, causing misalignment and crowding.
- Gum disease: Wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean properly, leading to an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Cavities: Wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth, making them difficult to clean properly. This can increase the risk of cavities and other dental problems.
- Cysts and tumours: In rare cases, cysts or tumours may develop around impacted wisdom teeth, which can lead to damage to the jawbone and adjacent teeth.
The decision to extract wisdom teeth should be made in consultation with a dentist or oral surgeon, based on a thorough examination and assessment of the individual’s dental health.
Aftercare and Recovery from Wisdom Tooth Extraction
After the wisdom tooth extraction procedure, it is crucial to follow the post-operative instructions provided by your dentist to ensure proper healing and prevent complications. Here are some aftercare and recovery tips:
- Bite down on the gauze: Your dentist will place a piece of gauze over the extraction site and ask you to bite down on it for about 30-45 minutes. This helps to stop bleeding and form a blood clot.
- Use ice packs: Apply an ice pack to the cheek in the area of the extraction for 20 minutes at a time, with a 20-minute break in between. This will help to reduce swelling and pain.
- Take medication: Your dentist may prescribe painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or antibiotics to help manage pain and prevent infection.
- Eat soft foods: Stick to a soft food diet for the first few days after the extraction. Avoid crunchy, chewy, or spicy foods, as they can irritate the extraction site.
- Avoid smoking: Do not smoke or use any tobacco products for at least 24 hours after the extraction, as this can delay the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
- Keep your mouth clean: Gently rinse your mouth with salt water solution or an antiseptic mouthwash as recommended by your dentist to keep the extraction site clean and prevent infection.
- Rest and relax: Take it easy for the first few days after the extraction. Avoid strenuous activities or exercises that can increase blood pressure and cause bleeding.
- Follow-up with your dentist: Attend any follow-up appointments scheduled by your dentist to monitor your progress and ensure proper healing.
Remember to contact your dentist immediately if you experience severe pain, bleeding, or swelling that does not improve after a few days. These may be signs of complications that require prompt medical attention.