What is Wisdom Teeth Stitches all about? Read on to understand it
The adult teeth as we know is 32 in number. After the falling off of milk teeth developed during childhood period, permanent teeth grows. The upper and lower third molars are called wisdom teeth.
They are not called wisdom teeth because they make one intelligent, rather they are called that because they are the last set of teeth to surface in the mouth. They usually come in when a person is between the age of 17 to 21 years. Two on top and two on the button makes a complete set of 32 teeth.
SHOULD WISDOM TEETH BE REMOVED?
Wisdom teeth pose no problem in the mouth, thus they do not need to be removed. However, there are reasons why they should be removed. A top reason is impaction, when the tooth may not have enough room to come out from the gum like it should. Because of the lack of space, wisdom teeth can sometimes emerge at an angle or get stuck and only partially emerge. Wisdom teeth that grow through like this are known as impacted.
This can cause severe pain in the mouth, inability to brush or floss very well, destroying other nearby teeth by eating away the root and inability to properly chew food which might cause indigestion.
Also, leaving wisdom teeth that have become impacted can cause serious dental problems.
Also, remember that food particles can get trapped around edges in the mouth which can become bacteria and cause plague leading to:
- Tooth decay (dental caries)
- Gum disease (also called gingivitis or periodontal disease)
- Pericoronitis – when plaque causes an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds the tooth
- Cellulitis – a bacterial infection in the cheek, tongue or throat
- Abscess – a collection of pus in your wisdom teeth or the surrounding tissue as a result of a bacterial infection
- Cysts and benign growths – very rarely, a wisdom tooth that has not cut through the gum develops a cyst (a fluid-filled swelling).
WHEN TO SEE A DENTIST
The above mentioned problems can be treated using drugs and antibiotics recommended by a dentist. Wisdom teeth removal is only recommended when other treatment methods fail. An oral surgeon or dentist can remove wisdom teeth.
The procedure can be done in the dentist’s or surgeon’s office. You may have the procedure in the hospital, if you are having all your wisdom teeth pulled at one time. Your dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. The dentist will separate the tissue that connects the tooth to the bone. Then the dentist will remove the tooth. The tooth may be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.
WISDOM TEETH STITCHES
This surgical procedure (Wisdom teeth removal) usually requires stitches called sutures. These stitches help the incision heal properly and protect infections from the gums. They also help the tissues cut during the process to fall back into place. The dentist will be in the best position to know the type of stitch suitable for you.The dentist can decide to use dissolving stitches or removal stitches.
Dissolving stitches like the name suggest, disintegrate on their own. They are commonly used by oral surgeons. In some people, they dissolve within few weeks or months depending on the type of stitch used, the size, material and extent of the surgery.
Some stitches do not need to dissolve. They need to be removed by the surgeon as he or she is the best person to determine when you should return for the stitches to be removed. These types of stitches are known as removable stitches. Removable stitches are taken out a week after the surgery.
HOW TO CARE FOR WISDOM TEETH STITCHES
After the wisdom teeth stitches are inserted, the dentist will give instructions which must be followed in order to fasten the healing process. The instructions will tell how to take care of the stitches and blood clot that would form over the extraction holes. Do not panic when you notice blood clotting over the holes in your mouth.
These blood clots are beneficial because they help to avoid dry socketing ( a painful dental condition occurring after an adult tooth is removed) which might cause complications. Gently rinse your mouth with salt water after 24 hours. Do not spit the water out, allow the water to pour out of your mouth freely.
If chlorhexidine is prescribed by your dentist or surgeon, you can use it. This antibacterial rinse will help to reduce the risk of infection. It is advisable to use it as prescribed. Also use antibiotics and drugs recommended. Be use to use the entire prescription. Avoid brushing or flossing the extracted area for some days as recommended by your dentist.
FOODS TO AVOID AFTER WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL
Avoid eating solid as they may tear or disrupt the stitches. Soft foods and drinks are advised.
Foods like: Smoothies, yogurt, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soup
Do not eat sticky or chewy foods as they might stick to the gums thereby decaying and causing tooth decay and other dental complications.
Avoid foods like: strawberries, raspberries, and other fruits with tiny seedsnuts or crunchy nut butters, crunchy foods including popcorn and raw carrots, corn on the cob, chewy foods including steak, chewing gum
WHAT TO DO IF YOU NOTICE A STITCH STICKING OUT
When you notice a loose stitch poking out, do not pull at it, cut it or try to remove it yourself. Let your surgeon know.
Also, it is not a cause for alarm in some cases as it may mean your stitches are dissolving unless you are bleeding or noticed the wound has opened.
But, always let your surgeon know of any changes and do not do anything without your surgeon’s approval.
HOW TO KNOW INFECTED WISDOM TEETH STITCHES
Keeping the your teeth and the stitches clean is a good way to avoid infection. But there is a possibility that the stitches and teeth can be infected. Signs of an infection can include: Severe pain, swelling, pus or discharge, itching or scratching sensation, redness, fever, bad taste or smell.
If you suspect infection, visit your dentist immediately to prescribe antibiotics . Be sure to follow their prescriptions. Oral infection can spread quickly, do not hesitate to tell your dentist of any changes or symptoms.
After the removal or dissolving of your stitches, you can eat all kinds of foods and brush your teeth normally.
Recovery for wisdom teeth surgery and stitches removal can take a full time. It is a gradual process.
If you follow your dentist’s instructions, there will not be any problem or complications.