DENTAL EMERGENCY? telephone call 833-925-8326
Wisdom Teeth FAQ
What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of molars that typically emerge in the late teens or early twenties. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth.

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

Wisdom teeth may need to be removed if they cause problems such as:

  • Impaction: When there isn’t enough room for the teeth to emerge properly, they can become trapped in the jawbone or gums.
  • Crowding: Erupting wisdom teeth can push against other teeth, causing misalignment.
  • Decay or Gum Disease: Wisdom teeth are harder to clean, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
  • Pain: Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause pain and swelling.
What are the signs that wisdom teeth need to be removed?
  • Pain or swelling in the back of the mouth
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Bad breath or unpleasant taste
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
What is the procedure for wisdom teeth removal?

The removal process typically involves the following steps:

  • Consultation: An evaluation, often with X-rays, to determine the position of the wisdom teeth.
  • Anesthesia: Local or general anesthesia is administered to ensure comfort during the procedure.
  • Extraction: The dentist or oral surgeon makes an incision in the gum, removes any bone blocking the tooth, and extracts the tooth. The incision is then stitched closed.
  • Recovery: Post-operative care instructions are provided to manage pain, swelling, and prevent infection.
What can I expect during recovery?
  • Swelling and Discomfort: These are common and can be managed with ice packs and pain medication.
  • Diet: Soft foods and liquids are recommended for the first few days.
  • Oral Hygiene: Gentle brushing and rinsing with salt water help maintain cleanliness.
  • Activity: Rest is advised for the first 24-48 hours, avoiding strenuous activities.
How long does recovery take?

Recovery time varies, but most people return to normal activities within a week. Complete healing of the surgical site can take a few weeks to a few months.

Are there risks associated with wisdom teeth removal?
  • Infection: Keeping the extraction site clean is crucial to prevent infection.
  • Dry Socket: A painful condition where the blood clot at the extraction site dislodges, exposing the bone and nerves.
  • Nerve Damage: Rarely, the procedure can cause temporary or permanent nerve damage, resulting in numbness.
Can wisdom teeth grow back?

Wisdom teeth do not grow back once they are removed. However, sometimes not all of the tooth is removed, and small fragments might surface, which can be removed by your dentist.

What should I eat after wisdom teeth removal?
  • First 24 Hours: Stick to clear liquids and soft foods like yogurt, applesauce, and smoothies.
  • After 24 Hours: Gradually introduce more solid foods as tolerated, avoiding hard, crunchy, or spicy foods.
How should I care for the extraction site?
  • Avoid Sucking Actions: Do not use straws, smoke, or suck on candies.
  • Rinse Gently: Use warm salt water rinses after 24 hours to keep the area clean.
  • Follow Instructions: Adhere to all post-operative care instructions provided by your dentist or surgeon.
How can I manage pain and swelling?
  • Pain Medication: Use prescribed or over-the-counter pain relievers as directed.
  • Ice Packs: Apply ice packs to the outside of your face for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to reduce swelling.
  • Elevate Head: Keep your head elevated with pillows when lying down to help reduce swelling.
Additional Tips
  • Communication: Keep in touch with your dentist or oral surgeon if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, or signs of infection.
  • Rest: Ensure you get plenty of rest to aid the healing process.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about wisdom teeth, feel free to ask!


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.