How long can I delay wisdom teeth removal? I am 26 years old and still have my wisdom teeth. The lower back and upper teeth began hurting two months ago, and the gums behind them are swollen. I have travel plans for the next two months and would like to know if I can continue taking ibuprofen and using numbing gel until late January/early February. I am concerned that my recovery will overlap with my travel plans. How long can I delay wisdom teeth removal? Micah from San Jose
Thank you for your question. We understand your concerns about your wisdom teeth and how they will affect your plans. Dr. Thomas would need to examine and x-ray your teeth to verify their condition, but we will provide a general answer to your concerns.
How Long Can You Delay Wisdom Teeth Removal?
How long you can delay wisdom teeth removal depends on the condition of your teeth. If you are experiencing pain and swelling around your wisdom teeth, you have an infection. Although a dentist can prescribe an antibiotic, the condition will not wholly resolve unless a dentist or oral surgeon removes them. You will need an exam and x-ray to determine whether you can delay treatment or if it is best to get prompt care to avoid a dental emergency while you are traveling.
What Causes Pain and Swelling Around Wisdom Teeth?
You may experience pain and swelling around impacted wisdom teeth that are trying to erupt but are trapped in the bone or positioned at an angle that prevents full eruption. Trapped food debris and plaque around the teeth can cause pain, swelling, and infection.
Will You Need an Oral Surgeon?
You may need an oral surgeon or a dentist with advanced oral surgery training if your teeth are impacted. Although many dentists take emergency appointments, not all dentists are trained for complex oral surgery. Take time before you travel to get an exam, x-rays, and diagnosis for the condition of your wisdom teeth and how they are affecting your oral health. A dentist will explain whether you can delay tooth removal or if you need immediate care.
Dr. Siny Thomas, a Sugar Land, Texas dentist, sponsors this post. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the surgical program of the Pikos Institute in Trinity, Florida.