Category Archives: Wisdom Teeth

Seeing Sedation Dentist for Extractions- Will I choke on Gauze?

I’m scheduled to see the sedation dentist to have my wisdom teeth extracted in three weeks. I just had my initial consultation and x-rays and they went over most of the instructions with me.  They also sent a sheet home with me that had post-op instructions and it talked about using gauze after the extractions are done. I’m a little worried, since this is a sedation dentist and all… is there a possibility that I could fall asleep and choke on the gauze or, worse yet, choke on it just because I’m not mentally with it after? Is the gauze absolutely necessary or are there alternatives?


Julia in Nebraska

Dear Julia,

The gauze is only needed while you’re actively bleeding. The pressure helps stop it and will help protect the blood clot as it forms. The clot is important because it protects the socket. Without it, your bone is exposed and that can be a very uncomfortable experience. So, you really want to do everything you can to protect the area and promote healing right after the tooth extractions. Gauze is a great choice because it’s gentle, absorbent, and can be changed out easily. The gauze you’ll receive from the sedation dentist will also be sterilized, so you don’t introduce bacteria into the socket.  In other words, the gauze is a huge benefit that you don’t want to overlook.

You will be groggy after you leave the sedation dentist and you’ll probably want to sleep off the meds. Even still, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have an issue with the gauze. You should have a responsible adult with you after surgery and that person should stay with you until the meds are out of your system. You can talk to that person in advance about your concerns and make sure that they understand the importance of their job. They really do need to look out for you and also make sure you’re not up and walking around while you’re still disoriented. They can help keep an eye on how you’re doing with your gauze, too. You shouldn’t lay down with it in and you’ll need to change it out about every 45 minutes until it’s only light pink when you’re supposed to be ready for a change. At that point, you can take it out without worry. This could happen as little as one hour after surgery, or about the time you’re getting home, or it could be about five hours later.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My gums won’t stop bleeding. Help!

It has been almost a decade now since my wisdom teeth were extracted. But I have had extreme sensitivity around those areas ever since the extractions. If I start to brush over the area of the gums where the teeth once were, my toothbrush is red by the time I’m done. I hate going to the dentist because they are so rough. And when they look back there and begin poking around, the bleeding occurs. But I have had it checked out and was told everything was normal.

But how can it be normal if that area bleeds if I brush back there?  I’m sick of dancing around that area after almost ten years.

– Betsy in Indiana


It wouldn’t hurt to go back into the dentist to have everything re-evaluated by another dentist. And it sounds like going to the dentist isn’t on your top ten list. So instead of letting the dentist poke around back there and then dealing with the discomfort, talk to him or her prior to the exam. If they know your are anxious, they can be sure to use gentle dentistry techniques. A little communication and understanding by both parties goes a long way during an exam.

But since it has been quite some time since those wisdom teeth extractions, the questions needs to be asked how often the area is brushed. Good oral hygiene means twice per day. But since you state, “if” you brush, it leaves the impression it may not occur daily. Therefore, the bleeding may ironically be a result of the lack of brushing.

If the area isn’t brushed regularly, plaque and bacteria can build up on that teeth closest to the area. This makes the gums inflamed and even the slightest touch at that point will cause irritation and possible bleeding. So brushing (even if you see blood) is the way to remedy the situation.

The bleeding is highly unlikely due to any issue with the old wisdom teeth. After ten years those extractions sites should be completely healed. The bone has had time to reshape and the tissues should serve as if the wisdom teeth were never even there.

So, look for a gentle dentist in your area if you would like a second opinion to rule out any gum disease. In the meantime, try increasing the frequency of brushing at home.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My face is numb after wisdom teeth extractions.

My dentist told me that I wouldn’t need sedation for my wisdom teeth extractions. But I was pretty freaked out about the whole thing. So we decided to use sedation dentistry to keep me calm. Everything went well at the appointment. But it’s been several weeks that have passed and now I feel numb in my lip and chin. I even have this random tingling sensation and twitching. What is going on? When I called my dentist, he acted like it was no big deal and told me it’s normal. It doesn’t sound or feel normal to me! Have you heard of it?

– Jessica in Oregon


Actually numbness after the extraction of wisdom teeth is a possible risk of the surgery. The numbness you are experiencing is not from the oral sedation. There is a good possibility your dentist informed you of the potential for side effects prior to the surgery. The technical term is  called paresthesia, defined as an altered feeling or sensation. This is likely occurring due to to a nerve located in your lower jawbone. It may have been irritated, bruised, or inflamed at the time of the extractions.

The numbness subsides for most patients that experience paresthesia, anywhere from a few days to a few months following the surgery. For a small percentage it doesn’t return to normal. The tingling you mentioned is an encouraging sign. But definitely keep in touch with your dentist to inform him of the symptoms and let him know if it continues or gets worse.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Am I too old to have my wisdom teeth extracted?

I was involved in a dental emergency several years ago where they removed my top two wisdom teeth. But since then, I haven’t had the others removed and now I am in my low thirties. Am I too old to have them extracted now? Am I at a higher risk of my jaw breaking or having any other complications? I didn’t realize at the time I would need to have the others out because no one ever seemed like I needed to. But now they are starting to bother me, so I think they need to be removed. Any advice you have would be appreciated!

– Katherine in Texas


On average, wisdom teeth are extracted between the ages of 18-25. But you are not “too old” to have them removed. If you are experiencing discomfort, there is a possibility that the tooth or teeth is infected which means it needs they need to be removed. And this needs to be addressed sooner than later, so it doesn’t turn into a serious dental emergency. In some cases, if a tooth infection is ignored, it can turn deadly. The infection can spread to other areas of the body.

Although it would have been ideal to have them extracted years ago, you shouldn’t have to worry about any jaw complications. At 40, the risk increases for jaw damage. The oral surgeon will still have you signing paperwork to remove liability from their practice, but the risk of anything serious occurring during the extraction process is considerably low.

While the oral surgeon is performing the tooth extractions, it would be beneficial to have them all out at once. Then it will be done, the infection will be removed, and you can move on. Again, if they are bothering you, act now. Don’t let this fester into an emergency situation.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Eruption of Wisdom Teeth

I am a 19 year old girl and my wisdom teeth still haven’t came in. How old are you when they do? Does everyone get them? My mouth is to small for my teeth already. Would that be the problem?

Thanks, Kari in North Carolina

Dear Kari,

Not all people develop wisdom teeth, however many people have them. About 35% of the population never develop wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth start to form in the jaw bone around the ages of nine and ten. As wisdom teeth roots develop, usually between the ages of 15 and 20, this is the time to have them surgically removed in order to make ones recovery easier, as well as to prevent crowding of the teeth, infection, pain, and decay of nearby teeth or in the wisdom tooth itself. Usually between the ages of 15 and 25 is when people start to develop problems with their wisdom teeth.

Due to the fact that your mouth is so small and if you have your wisdom teeth they will probably never erupt fully and will only cause problems like the ones we mentioned in the first paragraph. Most peoples jaws are too small for the proper eruption of wisdom teeth and become impacted which means they do not erupt completely. In order to determine if you have wisdom teeth you will need to have your dental professional take a dental x-ray called a panorex (see below) as well as complete an exam for proper diagnosis. By looking at the image below you can see the wisdom teeth which are the very last teeth on top and bottom. Look closely at the wisdom teeth on the bottom they are not fully erupted and will most likely never erupt completely.

We recommend you visit your dental professional for an evaluation to determine if your wisdom teeth are present in the jawbone. They will be able determine if they are indeed there and offer you the best advise on what your next steps are. You may have to have teeth extractions so they don’t interfere with your existing teeth.


This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How long can I wait before my wisdom teeth need to be removed?

I have a question about my wisdom teeth. I am 26 years old and have three wisdom teeth that are impacted. Two of them are on top and I have one on the bottom. The top two are already scheduled to be removed, but I’m wondering if I should just have the bottom one taken out at the same time? I’ve been told that the roots for the bottom wisdom tooth are past the nerve which means there is a possibility of nerve damage with the tooth extraction. He said I could just leave it alone until it begins to cause problems, have it removed, or just remove a portion of the tooth and leave the roots in place. But the last option means that there is a possibility for infection which they would then have to go back and get the roots later.

I’m trying to weigh out the pros and cons. I’m not sure if it’s just in my mind or not, but I feel like I’m starting to feel some pressure in that area. Or maybe it is just the general pain I’ve been experiencing from the top one. I really don’t want to have to endure two surgeries either. Any insight you may have would be awesome.

– Karie in California


The older you get, it becomes more difficult to remove the wisdom teeth. It is pretty standard practice to have any impacted wisdom teeth taken out while you are young, as it only becomes more complicated when you move into your adult years.

For example, you are still young enough that the risk for complication is minimal, whereas if you waited until you are 30 the risk will double and then at 35 the risk may double again, and so forth. Since it sounds like they are impacted, they will eventually give you trouble if they are left in place. The bone becomes harder and the roots can thicken which makes this procedure increasingly difficult the older you get.

Therefore, it is probably worth considering to go ahead and have them all taken care of as soon as possible. You don’t wait to wait until you are in more pain and have a dental emergency situation.

In regard to the suggestion to leave the root in place, that may be worth considering. That said, only the root tip should be left behind and not the whole root. The smaller the root, the body shouldn’t have complications. Although, it is very difficult to give specific recommendations without having seen your particular case. If you trust your dentist and are comfortable with his recommendations, it may be a judgement call on his part. Sometimes you don’t really know what you are dealing with until you are in there and a decision can be made during the surgery.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Seven days after wisdom teeth out and my chins still numb

I had my wisdom teeth out a week ago and I was put to sleep and woke up with my mouth frozen. Everything went away except my chin and my bottom lip, they’re still numb. It’s really frustrating and I was wondering if that’s normal and when it will go away or what I can do to speed up the process.

Thanks, Darren

Dear Darren,

One of the risks of having lower wisdom teeth extracted is numbness. It sounds like you are experiencing a condition known as paresthesia. This is an altered feeling or sensation to an area. Your numbness can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months before you get full feeling back. The mandibular nerve probably was irritated, inflamed, or bruised during the surgery. If you are experiencing any tingling that’s a good sign that the nerve may be on its way back to healing. Occasionally the nerve never returns to normal because of the trauma done to the nerve which is caused by the roots of the wisdom tooth lying too close to the nerve. If the mandibular is severed the feeling may never return, however this is rare. Time will tell, but we advise you to visit your oral surgeon after a few weeks for a follow-up on this matter.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Implant Dentist Hylan Dental Care

Two sets of wisdom teeth?


My dentist said I have two sets of wisdom teeth. I have never heard of this before. Is it possible to have a second pair of wisdom teeth?

Thanks, Marc

Dear Marc,

Yes, believe it or not some people have two and even three sets of wisdom teeth, however its rare. Usually when one has a second or third set of wisdom teeth these teeth are a lot smaller and are not fully developed, so in order to properly diagnosis this x-rays are needed. It is not a big deal to have more then one set however we would recommend having both sets of wisdom teeth extracted to prevent periodontal issues as well as overcrowding of the teeth

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Implant Dentist Hylan Dental Care

Can wisdom teeth coming in make your front teeth ache?

Is it normal for top front teeth to ache, hurt, feel weak, sensitive or even like they’re going to fall out when wisdom teeth are coming through? I know it’s probably a silly question but im only 18 and am petrified that im going to lose my teeth!
– Rachel from England

Your front teeth aching or being sensitive would not likely be related to your wisdom teeth coming in. There could be something wrong with your front teeth, but I think it’s most likely that there isn’t.

Sometimes stress can make the teeth or the gums extra sensitive or even make them hurt.

This blog sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Dr. Brad Hylan

Wisdom tooth extraction still hurting after 2 months

I am 47 and had three wisdom teeth,two lower and one upper, extracted two months ago (Nov.3). I had terrible dry sockets on bottom that required five packings. The sockets have finally stoppied hurting, but I have terrible, achy lower jaw pain almost constantly. It seems more like bone pain that it does the previous socket pain. It gets worse if I talk, sing, or eat crunchy food. Is this normal? Or should I call the oral surgeon? Thank you!
– Deborah from South Carolina

While it takes months for the bone to completely fill in after any tooth extraction, your mouth should be feeling back to normal within about two weeks after even a tough wisdom tooth removal.

Dry socket, contrary to what even many dentists believe, appears to be an infection of the bone. Usually the dry socket dressing and time is enough to completely heal the dry socket, but it’s possible for any infection in the socket to spread deeper into the bone, lymph nodes, or other places in or near your jaw. I would go back to the oral surgeon and have him or her look at the situation. If they dismiss it as “well, this will just get better with time – just give it more time,” then go ahead and give it more time – about two weeks – and then go back again until you are pain-free.

Pain is a message our body tells us to let us know that something is wrong and needs attention, so I’d get this solved.

This blog is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Dr. Brad Hylan.
Outside link: read more about wisdom teeth removal.