If your dentist has recommended wisdom teeth removal, you likely have numerous questions and concerns when it comes to this procedure. One common question people have when considering this procedure is if their face will change shape after the removal of wisdom teeth.
The fact is, while you can experience temporary facial changes after wisdom teeth extraction, there is no evidence to show that this procedure creates a permanent facial change.
- Explore how wisdom teeth removal impacts facial structure and changes to the jaw shape
- Understand the wisdom teeth removal process and recovery
- Learn the benefits of wisdom teeth removal
Does wisdom teeth extraction cause facial changes?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are located at the back of your mouth, past your secondary molars. This area of your jaw contains dense bone responsible for the structure of your jawline. Wisdom teeth are not rooted in this bone, but rather a separate boney portion of the jawbone known as the dental alveolus.
When the oral surgeon removes your wisdom teeth, the dental alveolus is affected but the main structural bone of your jaw is not. In rare cases, the wisdom teeth roots into the jawline, but, in this case, a bone graft is used to build up the missing bone and does not result in long-term facial changes. This means that, in terms of adjustment to your boney facial structure, removing wisdom teeth does not change the shape of your face.
In addition, no soft tissue, muscle, or fat pads that contribute to facial shape are removed during the procedure.
Does wisdom teeth removal make the face slimmer?
However, if you have experienced long-term issues with your wisdom teeth, you may have facial swelling already. After your wisdom teeth removal, this swelling is likely to increase as your body heals. Once your wisdom teeth extraction heals, you may notice a slimmer facial appearance as the swelling goes away.
In addition, during the healing process when your mouth is tender, you may eat less. This can contribute to weight loss, which is often seen in the face first, leading to a slimming facial appearance.
What to expect after wisdom teeth removal
After your wisdom teeth removal procedure, it is normal to experience some discomfort and facial swelling. Using an ice pack on your face, as well as any prescribed medications, can help to alleviate both pain and swelling. This can continue to occur throughout your healing process.
While most people recover from wisdom teeth extraction in three to four days, complicated cases where the wisdom tooth was impacted or came in at an odd angle can make recovery take as long as two weeks.
During your recovery period, you want to avoid things like strenuous exercise, smoking, spitting, or drinking from a straw as these actions can dislodge the blood clot in the gumline and increase your risk of dry socket.
Once healing is complete and all the swelling subsides, your face may appear slimmer than you are used to.
Benefits of wisdom teeth removal
Even if your wisdom teeth are not causing considerable pain or discomfort, wisdom teeth removal can still provide many benefits when it comes to your oral health.
Most people do not have enough room for 32 teeth in their mouth and the eruption of wisdom teeth can be problematic, even if they do not cause pain. When these teeth erupt in a cramped space at the back of the mouth, they can put pressure on the surrounding teeth, leading to a movement that can affect the alignment of your teeth. This movement can erase the effects of previous dental work, such as braces, and affect your normal ability to chew, often resulting in damage to your other teeth. Removing your wisdom teeth addresses all of these concerns and helps to maintain quality oral health and a beautiful smile.
Keeps gums healthy
When wisdom teeth partially erupt or are completely impacted, small cuts in the gum as they try to break through can allow the entrance of bacteria. When this happens, you risk infection and increase the risk of gum disease. Removing these wisdom teeth closes up the openings in the gums which can lead to infection.
Enhance denture use
If you have lived with your wisdom teeth erupted or impacted for years without a problem but are now needing dentures due to tooth loss, the removal of your wisdom teeth may be necessary in order to allow for comfortable fitting dentures. Remaining wisdom teeth can contribute to poor-fitting dentures that can affect your ability to eat and speak.
Reduce cavity risk
When wisdom teeth do come through, they often create a very crowded space around your existing back molars. This cramped space can make brushing and flossing more difficult and increase the risk of bacteria and plaque forming between the teeth, leading to dental decay and the development of cavities. Choosing wisdom teeth extraction reduces this overcrowding and, in turn, reduces your risk of dental decay and cavities in your molars.
Wisdom teeth removal helps improve oral health
While the thought of oral surgery to remove your wisdom teeth may be intimidating, the fact is wisdom tooth removal is a safe and beneficial procedure that provides many benefits when it comes to your oral health. While you may notice a change in your facial structure after a wisdom teeth extraction and recovery, the procedure itself does not contribute to these changes.
At New Leaf Rohnert Park, our team of caring dental professionals is here to walk you through every step of the wisdom teeth extraction procedure in a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. To learn more about your wisdom teeth and how you may benefit from wisdom teeth extraction, contact our team today.