Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can potentially cause pain. Our Issaquah dental experts can help!

Smiling woman after getting her wisdom teeth removed

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that typically erupt in the late teens or early twenties. Not everyone gets them and those who do get them don’t always experience problems. The main issue with wisdom teeth is that they can become impacted. This means that there is not enough room for them to come through the gums. To compensate for this, the wisdom teeth attempt to erupt at an awkward angle. This can cause the following symptoms:

  • Pus coming from the area where the gums are swollen

  • Swelling and pain of the gums affected by the impaction

  • Bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth due to infection

  • Aching when opening the mouth due to stretching of the inflamed muscle

  • Earache

  • Ulcers or pain on the inner cheek

  • Tenderness when biting or chewing

If you experience any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Vanama for an immediate evaluation. She will let you know if you have one or more impacted wisdom teeth requiring removal. The situation has escalated to an emergency when you have jaw or facial swelling, swollen glands, fever, and muscle spasms in your jaw. This indicates the presence of a severe infection that is spreading quickly.

  • What can you expect with the wisdom teeth process?

    As with other types of tooth extractions, your dentist in Issaquah first numbs the tooth and surrounding gum tissue before removing a wisdom tooth. If your impacted wisdom tooth is below your gums and stuck in your jaw bone, Dr. Vanama needs to remove part of the bone covering it in order to remove the wisdom tooth. She extracts the bone in sections in order to remove it through a small opening in the bone of the tooth. Lastly, she uses dental forceps to pull the wisdom tooth out.

Recovery from Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Most people recover from this procedure in three to four days, although it may take as long as a week. Pain and swelling is normal during this time. Dr. Vanama will provide you with a prescription for pain killers that you should take as directed. Applying an ice pack can also reduce pain and swelling. We advise patients to refrain from brushing their teeth for the first 24 hours. You can prevent infection by regularly rinsing with warm salt water after this period.

It’s important to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco while you are healing. Additionally, plan to eat a soft food diet and rest as much as possible. While you can resume your normal activities in about a day, be sure to avoid anything physically strenuous.

Love having my teeth treated here. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable!

Michael M., Actual Patient

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