woman sitting up in bed holding head

Are Your Wisdom Teeth Keeping You Awake At Night?

Team Wisdom Teeth

Do you experience pain in your jaw or frequent headaches that are making it hard to get a good night’s sleep? If you’ve never had your wisdom teeth removed, there’s a good chance they are the culprit. Wisdom teeth cause problems for most people and will most likely need to be removed. Wisdom teeth extraction is a routine procedure that is best handled by an oral surgeon.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to erupt. They usually come in (or begin to cause problems) some time in your late teens or early adulthood. Wisdom teeth are the furthest molars to the back of your jaw behind your 12 year molars.

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

Most of the time people’s wisdom teeth fail to come in correctly. Some wisdom teeth never erupt through the gums and some come in at an angle. A wisdom tooth that never comes in tends to become impacted, which means it pushes against the root of the molar in front of it, forcing the rest of the teeth forward and causing crowding. Wisdom teeth that come in crooked or sideways are usually easier to remove than to correct. 

Modern humans do not need their wisdom teeth as more primal humans did. One theory is that the primitive diet of early humans tended to wear down the existing teeth in early adulthood and the wisdom teeth were replacements. As humans evolved and the average size of the jaw bone has become smaller, wisdom teeth rarely have enough room.

Is it absolutely necessary to have wisdom teeth extracted?

Some people’s wisdom teeth come in properly and don’t cause any problems. This may be rare, but if there are no obvious problems, the wisdom teeth can remain in the mouth. It is important that they be closely monitored by your dentist in case any issues do arise that would cause a need for them to be extracted. It is easier to have them removed in your younger years, so you may want to consider having them out sooner rather than later.

What does the extraction procedure entail?

The procedure differs depending on the location of the wisdom teeth and how difficult they will be to remove. Generally, an incision is made in the gum tissue to gain access to the tooth. The oral surgeon uses special tools to loosen the tooth from the jaw and remove it. Usually a couple of stitches will be required to close up the gum tissue to prevent infection, stop bleeding, and promote healing. 

The procedure can be done under local, general, or IV sedation, depending on your personal preference. Whatever option you choose, you won’t feel any pain during the extraction process. You may be prescribed pain relievers to control pain after the procedure. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection. You’ll need to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions following the procedure to ensure proper healing.

Wisdom Teeth Keeping You Up At Night? Rio Grande Oral Surgery Can Help

Don’t lose sleep due to the pain or discomfort of impacted wisdom teeth. And don’t worry about the cost of the procedure, as insurance usually covers most or all of the cost of wisdom teeth removal. Even if you don’t have insurance, financing is available to make it affordable. And there’s no need to worry about the procedure itself. Dr. Steel at Rio Grande Oral Surgery has handled numerous wisdom teeth extractions with complete success. 

Call 505-821-2111 or request an appointment today. Summer is a good time to schedule wisdom teeth removal while school is out.