Long-Term Effects of Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Maintaining Oral Health
Wisdom teeth, scientifically known as third molars, are the last set of molars located at the back of your mouth. These late bloomers typically appear during late adolescence or early adulthood, mostly between the ages of 17 and 25. Since this time is presumed as the time of gaining wisdom – the name, “Wisdom Teeth” is given. While these molars grow without causing issues, for a significant number of people it causes various problems. Thus, dentists suggest Wisdom tooth extraction.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction is a routine dental procedure undergone by millions worldwide. While the immediate recovery process is well-documented, understanding the long-term and side effects of wisdom tooth extraction is crucial for making an informed decision about the procedure. But before getting into it, let’s know a little about wisdom tooth extraction.
What is Wisdom Teeth Removal or Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Wisdom tooth extraction is a dental surgical procedure designed to remove one or more of the third molars or wisdom teeth. It is a popular dental procedure that is usually done when wisdom teeth grow sideways, emerge only partially, or remain trapped within the jawbone. The lack of space in the jaw is the main reason why people prefer going for wisdom teeth removal.
So, let’s delve into the comprehensive aspects of the long-term side effects of wisdom tooth extraction and find out what are wisdom teeth removal complications and positive long term effects of wisdom teeth removal. The article also includes potential disadvantages and risks associated with this common dental surgery.
Read Also: Importance Of Wisdom Tooth Removal
Biggest Benefits of Removing Wisdom Teeth
Here are the oral Benefits and long-Term effects Of Wisdom Tooth Extraction that may help you with your dental issues.
1. Positive Effects of Wisdom Teeth Removal on Oral Health
a. Prevention of Dental Issues
Wisdom tooth extraction plays a pivotal role in preventing various dental problems, thus mitigating the long-term side effects of untreated issues. Impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding, misalignment, and gum infections, all of which are significantly reduced by their removal.
b. Reduced Risk of Gum Disease and Cavities
Gum disease and cavities are common long-term side effects of untreated wisdom teeth removal. Extraction eliminates the hiding places for bacteria and reduces the risk of these issues, promoting better oral health in the long run.
2. Pain Reduction and Long-Term Relief
a. Alleviation of Chronic Discomfort
Long-term chronic pain is a potential side effect of untreated wisdom teeth. By removing these molars, chronic discomfort is alleviated, enhancing the quality of life in the long term. The immediate pain relief after extraction is often followed by lasting benefits.
b. Prevention of Headaches and Jaw Pain
Impacted wisdom teeth can exert pressure on adjacent teeth and nerves, leading to headaches and jaw pain. Extraction significantly decreases the likelihood of experiencing such discomfort, contributing to long-term relief.
3. Psychological and Oral Hygiene Benefits
a. Enhanced Confidence and Reduced Dental Anxiety
Misaligned or overcrowded teeth due to wisdom teeth can lead to self-consciousness. Extraction positively influences psychological well-being, enhancing confidence and reducing dental anxiety. Regular dental check-ups post-extraction further ensure long-term oral health and well-being.
b. Improved Oral Hygiene and Simplified Dental Care
The absence of wisdom teeth improves accessibility for cleaning, simplifying the dental care routine. This reduction in complexity enhances oral hygiene practices, reducing the long-term side effects related to poor oral hygiene.
Disadvantages of Removing Wisdom Teeth
There are various after effects of wisdom teeth removal. It includes both immediate effects of wisdom teeth extraction and long term side effects of wisdom teeth removal procedure.
1. Immediate Postoperative Side Effects or After Effects of Wisdom Teeth Removal
a. Swelling and Bruising
Swelling around the jawline and cheeks is a common side effect after wisdom teeth removal. This swelling, accompanied by bruising, usually peaks within the first 48 hours and gradually subsides over the next few days. Applying ice packs intermittently during the initial 24 hours can help minimize swelling and discomfort.
b. Pain and Discomfort
Some pain and discomfort are expected after the anesthesia wears off. Dentists typically prescribe pain relievers to manage the discomfort, and over-the-counter pain medications can be taken as well. It’s crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and not to exceed the recommended limits.
Minor bleeding is normal after the extraction, and gauze pads are provided to bite down on, promoting clot formation. If bleeding persists beyond the first day, biting on a moist tea bag can help, as the tannins in tea aid in blood clotting. Avoiding vigorous rinsing or spitting for the first 24 hours can also minimize the risk of prolonged bleeding.
2. Short-Term Side Effects of Wisdom Teeth Extraction
a. Limited Jaw Opening
Inflammation around the jaw joint can lead to temporary limited mouth opening. Gentle jaw exercises, prescribed by the oral surgeon, can gradually improve the jaw's mobility. Avoiding overly wide opening, hard foods, and sticky substances during the initial days aids in a smoother recovery.
b. Dry Socket
Dry socket occurs when the blood clot in the extraction site is dislodged or dissolves prematurely, exposing the underlying bone and nerves. This condition can be extremely painful. Avoiding vigorous rinsing, smoking, or using straws in the days following the extraction reduces the risk of dry socket.
3. Long-Term Side Effects
a. Numbness and Tingling
Numbness or tingling in the lower lip, tongue, or chin can occur due to nerve irritation during the extraction. While this side effect is rare, it’s usually temporary and resolves within a few weeks to a few months. Patients experiencing prolonged numbness should promptly report it to their oral surgeon.
Infections, though uncommon, can develop if the extraction site isn’t kept clean. Following the dentist’s post-operative care instructions, including gentle rinsing with warm salt water, helps prevent infections. If signs of infection, such as swelling, pain, or fever, develop, seeking prompt medical attention is crucial.
Read Also: Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom tooth extraction provides numerous long-term benefits, including enhanced oral health, reduced pain, and improved psychological well-being. While there are potential risks and disadvantages of wisdom tooth extraction, the long-term positive effects overweight all.
However, it is always good to understand and consider the side effects of wisdom tooth extraction. It empowers you to make informed decisions about your oral health and give you a perfect smile without any regrets. So, if you are considering getting this process, do not forget regular dental follow-ups to mitigate long term after effects of wisdom teeth removal. Also, take dental consultation and trust the process.
FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Is wisdom tooth extraction necessary for everyone?
Wisdom tooth extraction is recommended for individuals who experience issues such as impaction, crowding, infection, or decay.
2. Can wisdom teeth cause problems later in life if not extracted?
Yes, leaving impacted or problematic wisdom teeth in place can lead to long-term oral health issues, including infection and misalignment.
3. How long does the recovery period typically last?
The initial recovery period lasts a few days, but complete healing may take several weeks.
4. Can I resume regular activities after wisdom tooth extraction?
It's advisable to rest and avoid strenuous activities for the first few days. Gradually, normal activities can be resumed as the healing progresses.
5. What should I do if I experience prolonged discomfort after the extraction?
If discomfort persists or worsens, it's important to contact your dentist for further evaluation and guidance.