Wisdom teeth can often grow in such a fashion that they place pressure on the teeth that are already present. This pressure can cause discomfort and, in some cases, even considerable pain. Though wisdom tooth extractions aren’t something we’re likely to need as children, many adults will require the procedure.
A wisdom tooth extraction, especially of a wisdom tooth that is impacted, can require a longer than the average appointment, but it need not be a painful or uncomfortable experience. Everyone has a different pain threshold and tolerance, but your dentist and oral healthcare professionals can make even complicated or lengthy procedures pain and anxiety-free. Your dentist can administer anaesthesia in various ways to make your procedure painless.
Does A Wisdom Tooth Extraction Hurt A Lot?
There are many highly sensitive nerves in the teeth, tongue, gums, and jaws. These nerves serve essential functions by helping you be aware of any injury to your mouth. The pain-sensing function of these nerves can be effectively turned off using an anaesthetic.
Your dentist will generally use a local anaesthetic for a wisdom tooth extraction procedure. The local anaesthetic will numb the area or areas of your mouth on which your dentist will need to work. You may feel pressure or a tugging sensation during the wisdom tooth extraction, but it won’t be uncomfortable or painful.
For more complicated procedures, a general anaesthetic or other forms of sleep dentistry are available to you if they should be required.
What About After The Tooth Extraction?
The local anaesthetic your dentist administers may take several hours to wear off completely. You may feel numb or have a tingling sensation in your jaw and may experience some difficulty speaking clearly. After the anaesthetic effects wear off, you may feel some swelling or a sensation of heat. You may also experience a little tenderness, but there should be no real pain. Any discomfort can generally be adequately treated with commonly available pain remedies.
Your dentist may provide a folded piece of gauze for you to bite down on. This places pressure on the site of the extraction, which stops any bleeding and encourages blood clotting. This is the only thing that should contact the extraction site, and you should exercise care to not bump or touch the area with your fingers.
Resist the temptation to nudge or explore the extraction site with your tongue, as this may dislodge any clotting. This condition is often called dry socket, and it can be intensely uncomfortable.
After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction, Do Not:
- Smoke cigarettes, drink out of a straw or use any sort of vaporiser or e-cigarette
- Touch the site of the wisdom tooth extraction with your tongue or fingers
- Chew food using the affected area
- Drink beverages with ice
The wisdom tooth extraction site should heal within seven to fourteen days after the procedure. You shouldn’t feel discomfort, and swelling, numbness, or pressure should subside almost immediately. If you experience any pain, this may be a sign of secondary infection, and you should notify your dentist of this immediately.
Nothing to be Anxious About
Not only are wisdom tooth extractions painless, they often relieve pain associated with a wisdom tooth that is impacting or placing pressure on other teeth. Postponing treatment out of a concern that any required procedure may cause pain will prolong the discomfort you may already be experiencing. It can also complicate the eventual extraction that will be necessary, can allow infection to spread to other teeth, and can negatively impact your general oral health.
Left untreated, a wisdom tooth can even cause infection to spread to the underlying bone of your jaw, placing your general dental health in jeopardy. It may even lead to losing one or more teeth — and will likely be quite painful the entire time.
If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your jaw, no matter the cause, contact us to schedule an appointment today. The earlier you seek proper treatment, the sooner you will be without pain — and the better the outcome will likely be.