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Can wisdom teeth cause problems?

Wisdom teeth can cause an issue when there is not enough room for them in your mouth or when they are coming in at a weird angle. Sometimes they may come in completely without any issues but are too far back in the mouth to keep cleaning, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

If you live in Southern California, feel free to Schedule a New Patient Visit with us in Zak Dental offices in Agoura Hills, Covina/San Dimas, Downey, Long Beach, North Park, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Simi Valley, Temecula, Valencia, Ventura, and Whittier/La Mirada, California.

For all your dental needs, call to schedule an appointment 833-ZAK-TEAM.

Wisdom Teeth FAQ


What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that typically appear in the late teens or early twenties. They are located at the back of the mouth, one on each side of the upper and lower jaws.

Why are they called “wisdom teeth”?

They’re called wisdom teeth because they usually emerge at a more mature age, typically when a person is in their late teens or early twenties, which was once thought to be the age of gaining wisdom.

Do all people get wisdom teeth?

No, not everyone develops wisdom teeth. Some individuals may have one, two, three, or none at all. The presence and development of wisdom teeth can vary from person to person.

Why do we have wisdom teeth if many people have them removed?

Wisdom teeth were more useful to our ancestors who had larger jaws and a diet that required more heavy chewing. But as our diets have evolved and jaws have become smaller over time, there’s often not enough room for wisdom teeth to emerge properly, leading to complications like impaction, crowding, or infection.

What are the common problems associated with wisdom teeth?

Impaction: Wisdom teeth may become impacted, meaning they are unable to fully emerge from the gum line.

Crowding: Wisdom teeth can cause crowding issues, pushing existing teeth out of alignment.

Infection: Due to their location at the back of the mouth, it’s harder to keep wisdom teeth clean, making them more susceptible to decay and infection.

Cysts and Tumors: In rare cases, cysts or tumors may develop around impacted wisdom teeth.

When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

The timing for wisdom teeth removal varies from person to person and depends on factors such as the position of the teeth, symptoms, and potential complications. Your dentist or oral surgeon can assess your specific situation and recommend the best course of action.

What is the procedure for wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom teeth removal is typically performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist with specialized training. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity and patient preference. The surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue, remove any bone blocking access to the tooth, and extract the wisdom tooth. Stitches may be used to close the incision.

What is the recovery process like after wisdom teeth removal?

Recovery time varies, but it typically takes a few days to a week to fully recover from wisdom teeth removal. During this time, it’s important to follow post-operative instructions provided by your oral surgeon or dentist, which may include rest, pain management, eating soft foods, and avoiding strenuous activities.

Are there any risks associated with wisdom teeth removal?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with wisdom teeth removal, including infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and dry socket (a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot is dislodged from the extraction site). However, these risks are relatively rare, and your oral surgeon or dentist will take steps to minimize them.

What if I choose not to have my wisdom teeth removed?

If your wisdom teeth are not causing any problems and are not at risk of developing complications, your dentist may recommend leaving them in place and monitoring them regularly. However, if they pose a risk of impaction, infection, or other issues, removal may be necessary to prevent future problems. It’s essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your dentist or oral surgeon to make an informed decision.

Impacted Tooth Removal

Why is it important and how do they remove an impacted wisdom tooth?


Impacted wisdom teeth can pose a significant risk to the dental health of a patient.
Those partially covered by gum tissue can make patients especially vulnerable to decay, periodontal disease, and potentially serious infections.

Food particles and bacterial plaque become trapped under the gum line, where they are completely out of reach for the patient to remove.

Because the wisdom tooth was not removed in time, the second molar developed a large cavity and eventually an abscess that required endodontic treatment and a crown to save it.

Removal of wisdom teeth is usually not complicated, although care must be taken not to injure nerves in the area.

To minimize trauma to the jaw, the tooth is divided into pieces that are removed in a logical order according to a carefully developed plan.

The soft tissues close up over a few weeks. Bone usually completely fills the socket within months.

Surgical Tooth Removal

When pulling a tooth how is it considered surgical?


Surgical extractions require a surgical incision and/or splitting of the tooth for less traumatic removal.

This tooth has a curved root, which may make it more difficult to remove the tooth in one piece.

By dividing the tooth into pieces, the back half can be extracted first. This allows the front half to have a rotational path for extraction.

This preserves the delicate bone between the roots.

Guidelines Following Tooth Removal

How do I care for the area once I go home after having a tooth pulled?


For the first 20 to 30 minutes after the procedure, if a surgical compress or dressing has been placed over the extraction site, follow the doctor’s advice on how long to leave it in place. Keep pressure on the compress, talking if necessary with your teeth together to avoid movement of the gauze.

Do not exert yourself any more than you have to (running, lifting, and that sort of thing).

Do not rinse your mouth vigorously until your doctor or health care professional tells you to. Doing so may cause bleeding from the extraction site.

Do not smoke unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, take short puffs. These will not build up suction. Suction can dislodge blood clots. This can cause bleeding. Smoking can also interfere with the healing process and has been shown to increase the incidence of a dry socket following the removal of a tooth.

Do not drink through a straw, and avoid carbonated beverages of any kind. The bubbles can dislodge blood clots in the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

Do not spit forcefully. This can also cause bleeding.

Do not dab the wound with gauze, tissues, or other absorbent materials to try to soak up bleeding.

If the wound is bleeding, place gauze, which has been moistened and then dabbed dry, directly on the wound and apply pressure for 20 to 30 minutes.

Exercise increases your blood pressure. This can cause bleeding.

If the soft tissues are still numb, do not eat and do not drink hot beverages until the numbness has worn off.

Do not exert yourself any more than necessary.

It’s possible to bite or burn yourself badly without knowing it.

To avoid dehydration, be sure and drink plenty of fluids.

An electrolyte supplement may be recommended by your dentist.

It’s a good idea to rest as much as possible for the first day or two after surgery.

Avoid chewing on the surgical site or otherwise irritating the surgical site.

If your dentist recommends using an antiseptic rinse such as chlorhexidine, rinse the area as directed by your dentist.

Icepacks should be applied indirectly to the area of surgery (such as the cheek on the affected side). Apply the pack for approximately 15 minutes each hour. Do not apply the cold directly to the skin. During the first day, cold may help reduce swelling. After 24 hours this will not help much. As a matter of fact, moist heat can reduce any muscle soreness that you may be experiencing.

Be sure to take any pain relievers, antibiotics, or other medications your doctor has prescribed.

It’s important to eat well after oral surgery. Soft foods, clear broths, soft boiled, fried, or scrambled eggs, protein powders, steamed rice, tender meats such as fish, nutritional shakes, and foods pureed in a blender are among the recommended postoperative foods.

While the soft tissue is healing, avoid seeds – especially small berry seeds and husks; acidic foods such as citrus fruits and vinegar; and spicy foods and sauces.

Practice opening your mouth passively through its full range of motion to avoid muscle trismus (or reduced opening). If trismus does occur, it is usually temporary and is not a sign of a serious problem.

Call your dentist if you are unsure or concerned for any reason.

It’s a good idea to sleep with your head slightly elevated, if possible. This will reduce the chance of throbbing at the surgical site.

Keep your mouth as clean as possible. Avoid vigorous brushing, especially around the surgical site.

If sutures (or stitches) have been placed, follow your doctor’s advice on when to have them removed.




Here are some things to expect in the days ahead.

Dental extractions usually don’t cause major complications. However, some discomfort can be expected.

There may also be some bruising.

If you experience any swelling within the first few days, it’s usually due to your body’s natural repair process and will usually go away on its own.

If the swelling starts on the third day or later, it may be a sign of infection. Call your dentist for an appropriate antibiotic prescription and/or surgical drainage.

It’s normal for some oozing to occur for a day or two after being operated on. A small amount of blood that is mixed with saliva can make it look like a lot of blood. If you are not sure, dry the wound by applying gentle pressure for a few seconds with a clean gauze pad and watch the wound for any significant bleeding. Do not dab at the wound. Do not try to absorb any bleeding.

If you think it’s bleeding too much, apply direct pressure for 20-30 minutes and call your dentist.

If you experience prolonged numbness for more than a few hours or severe pain after tooth extraction, contact your dentist immediately.

Both of these are unusual.

Depending on which teeth were removed, your dentist may recommend additional procedures after the extractions – such as bone grafting and dental implants.
and dental implants.

If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed in this article, please Call us at 833-ZAK-TEAM