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Wisdom Tooth Removal: Purpose,
Procedure, and Risks

Family Dental Group > Wisdom Tooth Removal: Purpose, Procedure, and Risks
Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom Tooth Removal: Purpose, Procedure, and Risks

As we navigate the journey of adulthood, an interesting dental milestone awaits us: the emergence of wisdom teeth. What are wisdom teeth? These late bloomers, known as third molars, typically debut between 17 and 25 years old. Nestled in the backs of the mouth’s upper and lower wisdom teeth mark the final set of molars to grace our dental landscape.  

Only some experience the same journey with these late bloomers; some may never see them appear, while others may encounter challenges that necessitates removal. This blog aims to provide comprehensive insights into the purpose, procedure, and potential risks associated with wisdom tooth extraction to ensure you are well-informed and prepared for this standard dental procedure. 

Problems With Wisdom Teeth 

Learning about the common issues that may occur with wisdom teeth can shed light on the purpose behind their removal. 

Common Problems: 

  • Impaction: Wisdom teeth often lack sufficient space to emerge correctly, leading to impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth may press against adjacent teeth, growing at an angle or remaining trapped under the gumline. As per facts, at least one wisdom tooth remains within the jaw for about 80 out of 100 young adults. Impacted wisdom tooth requires immediate attention. 
  • Misalignment: Due to limited space in the jaw, wisdom teeth may emerge at odd angles, causing misalignment. This misalignment can disrupt the harmony of the existing teeth, affecting the overall bite. 
  • Crowding: The late arrival of wisdom teeth can contribute to overcrowding in the mouth. This can lead to shifts in adjacent teeth, compromising the alignment achieved through orthodontic treatments. 
  • Infection and Inflammation: Partially erupted wisdom teeth can attract bacteria in the pockets they create, leading to infection and inflammation. This condition, known as pericoronitis, can result in pain, swelling, and difficulty maintaining oral hygiene. 

Purpose of Extraction:

The extraction of problematic wisdom teeth serves both preventive and therapeutic purposes. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent potential complications and preserve overall oral health. Here’s a closer look at the purpose of wisdom tooth extraction: 

  • Preventing Crowding: Extraction helps prevent overcrowding and maintains the alignment achieved through orthodontic treatments. 
  • Alleviating Pain and Discomfort: Removing wisdom teeth that are misaligned or impacted can relieve pain and discomfort associated with these dental issues. 
  • Preventing Infections: Extraction eliminates the risk of infections and inflammation caused by partially erupted wisdom teeth, promoting optimal oral health.
  • Preserving Adjacent Teeth: By preventing the misalignment and crowding caused by wisdom teeth, extraction contributes to the preservation of adjacent teeth. 

Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Infection 

Wisdom teeth can bring about various issues, and infection is one of the common complications. Awareness of the signs of a wisdom tooth infection is essential for timely intervention. Here are key wisdom teeth symptoms that indicate a potential infection:

  • Persistent Pain: Ongoing, throbbing pain in the back of the mouth, particularly around the wisdom teeth, is a primary indicator of infection. This discomfort might extend to the adjacent jaw and facial areas. 
  • Gum Inflammation: Infections often lead to inflammation of the gums surrounding the wisdom teeth. Localised swelling and redness may be noticeable, signalling a problem. 
  • Limited Jaw Movement: An infected wisdom tooth can result in stiffness and difficulty fully opening the mouth. Discomfort may accompany this restricted jaw movement.
  • Unpleasant Taste and Breath: Infections can cause the accumulation of pus, leading to an unpleasant taste in the mouth and persistent bad breath. 
  • Challenges While Chewing: Pain or discomfort during chewing, especially when using the back teeth, may suggest problems with the wisdom teeth. 
  • Systemic Symptoms: A wisdom tooth infection can sometimes cause systemic symptoms like fever and fatigue. If these signs coincide with oral discomfort, it may indicate an advanced infection. 

The Procedure of Wisdom Tooth Removal 

  1. Dental Examination

Wisdom teeth extraction begins with a thorough dental examination, often involving X-rays to assess the position, alignment, and potential complications related to the wisdom teeth. 

  1. Anaesthesia

Before the extraction, the dentist administers local anaesthesia to ensure a pain-free procedure. In some cases, general anaesthesia may be needed. 

  1. Incision and Tooth Removal

If the tooth is visible, a straightforward extraction is performed. However, if the tooth is impacted, an incision may be made to access the tooth beneath the gum. The tooth is then carefully extracted. 

  1. Stitching and Recovery

Post-extraction, the incision site is stitched, and gauze is placed to control bleeding. Patients receive detailed instructions for postoperative care to promote optimal healing. 

Risks & Considerations 

While wisdom teeth extraction is a common and generally safe procedure, patients must know the potential risks and considerations. Here are some key points to keep in mind: 

Surgical Risks    

Wisdom teeth removal involves a surgical procedure; like any surgery, it carries inherent risks. These can include infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. Choosing a skilled and experienced oral surgeon can help mitigate these risks. 

Dry Socket    

A common complication post wisdom teeth extraction is the development of a dry socket, which may occur when the blood clot that forms after the tooth is removed either dissolves or dislodges. A dry socket can lead to severe pain and delayed healing. 

Nerve Damage    

The lower wisdom teeth’ roots are close to the nerves in the jaw. In some cases, the nerves may be affected during extraction, leading to temporary numbness in the lip or tongue. 

Swelling and Bruising 

Swelling and bruising of the face are typical after the surgery. While these effects are temporary, patients should be prepared for discomfort and altered appearance during the initial recovery period. 


Infections can occur after the extraction, especially if proper postoperative care and hygiene practices are not followed. Signs of wisdom tooth infection include persistent pain, swelling, and discharge from the surgical site. 

Sinus Issues (Upper Wisdom Teeth)    

Upper wisdom teeth are located near the sinuses, and their removal can, in rare cases, lead to sinus congestion or infection. 

Postoperative Bleeding

While some bleeding is normal post-surgery, excessive or prolonged bleeding may occur. Patients should follow postoperative care instructions carefully, including avoiding activities that could disrupt the blood clot. 

Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery 

The period after wisdom teeth removal requires careful attention to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery. Here’s what you need to do for your wisdom teeth recovery: 

Pain Management

  • Take prescribed or recommended pain medication as directed. 
  • Use cold packs outside your face to minimize swelling and numb the area. 

Bite on Gauze

  • Bite down gently on the provided gauze pad to control bleeding. Change the gauze as instructed by your oral surgeon. 

Protect the Blood Clots

  • Avoid activities that could dislodge the blood clot, such as vigorous rinsing, sucking through straws, or spitting. 
  • Protecting the blood clot is crucial for proper healing. 

Saltwater Rinse

  • Begin gentle saltwater rinses 24 hours after surgery to keep the surgical site clean. Follow any specific instructions from your oral surgeon.

  Soft Diet

  • Stick to a soft diet, including soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. 
  • Avoid hot and spicy foods, seeds, or tiny particles that could get lodged in the surgical site. 


  • Drink plenty of water, but avoid using straws, as the sucking motion can disturb the healing process. 


  • Ensure you get adequate rest in the initial days after surgery. Avoid strenuous activities to promote healing. 

Oral Hygiene

  • Continue regular oral hygiene but be gentle around the surgical site. Avoid brushing directly over the extraction area. 
  • Consider using a prescribed antimicrobial mouthwash if recommended by your oral surgeon. 

No Smoking or Alcohol

  • Refrain from smoking for at least 48 hours post-surgery, as it can hinder healing. 
  • Avoid alcohol during the initial recovery period, especially if taking prescription medications. 

Follow-Up Appointments

  • Attend your follow-up appointments without fail to allow the dentist to monitor your recovery progress. 

Call Focus Dental Group Today  

If you’re grappling with wisdom teeth issues, it’s time to take charge of your oral health. At Focus Dental Group, our experienced team provides seamless and pain-free wisdom teeth extraction. Contact us now. 

Frequently asked questions

The duration of wisdom teeth removal depends on the case’s complexity, the number of teeth removed, and the patient’s circumstances. On average, the procedure typically gets over in about 45 minutes to an hour. 

Most adults have four wisdom teeth, one in each mouth quadrant. However, it’s not uncommon for some individuals to have fewer or none.  

The recovery time after wisdom teeth removal varies from person to person. Generally, patients can expect initial healing within the first few days, with more complete healing taking a few weeks. Following postoperative care instructions, such as rest, ice, and prescribed medications, can contribute to a smoother recovery. 

The duration of wisdom tooth pain can vary based on factors such as the stage of eruption, impaction, and individual pain tolerance. Pain may last a few days to several weeks. Adequate pain management, prescribed by your oral health professional, can help alleviate discomfort during recovery. 

To alleviate wisdom teeth pain, consider the following: 

  • Over-the-counter wisdom tooth pain relief medication (as recommended by your dentist). 
  • Applying a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling. 
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent infection. 
  • Following any prescribed medications or recommendations from your oral health professional. 

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