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Wisdom Teeth

A Battle Creek, MI, dentist takes a gentle, proactive approach to wisdom teeth removal

Not everyone develops wisdom teeth. But, for many, these back teeth are a rite of passage, which typically occurs around the time “wisdom” is being gained in early adulthood (between the ages of 17 to 25). While wisdom teeth are not inherently bad, the American Dental Association reports 85% of them must be removed due to complications with how they erupt or break through the gum tissue. Earl E. Gaball, DDS in Battle Creek, MI, wants you to know that removing these teeth is not a loss. You can eat your favorite foods, laugh unabashedly, and smile confidently without them!

The importance of preventive care

Dr. Gaball emphasizes approachable, fear-free, and proactive dental care. During routine exams and cleanings at our office, he will evaluate how these third molars are developing in your mouth. If a wisdom tooth grows at an angle, it can become impacted – trapped partially or fully underneath the gums. Impacted teeth can’t erupt normally. The pressure from these molars pushing up against the gums can be pretty intense. Pain may be accompanied by swelling, halitosis, and a persistent “bad taste.” Impaction can also threaten the health of the surrounding teeth. With proactive care, we help patients avoid painful symptoms and complications, such as damage to other teeth.

A gentle process

If we need to remove a tooth, the procedure itself is straightforward. The tooth is numbed precisely. So, you won’t feel anything throughout treatment. We can also discuss sedative options, from conscious sedation to general anesthesia, which supports the most pleasant and comfortable experience at our office. The trouble tooth is accessed, loosened from its socket, and removed using light-touch techniques. Dr. Gaball has also invested in various instruments and technologies to aid in the most painless care possible. These instruments and tools represent alternatives to common dental anxiety and fear sources, such as dental drills and shots.


Our office also emphasizes education. We provide clear instructions on care following the removal of a tooth. Some things to keep in mind:

  • It’s normal for the treatment site to bleed. Gauze or a damp, clean tea bag may be applied to the extraction site for 30 to 45 minutes each time.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water and salt (about a quarter teaspoon).
  • Apply a bag of ice wrapped in a towel or cold compress to relieve swelling. Do so for 30 minutes, with 30-minute breaks in-between applications.
  • Eat soup, pudding, and other soft foods as directed for at least 24 hours.
  • Do not consume hot drinks.
  • Chew on the side of your mouth opposite of the treated tooth.
  • Use aspirin or Tylenol-based products to ease mild to moderate discomfort.
  • Refrain from using straws or other behaviors that involve sucking or spitting. These habits can dislodge the blood clot at the extraction site, producing a painful dry socket.
  • Do not participate in strenuous exercise or physical activities for at least 24 hours after the tooth is removed.

Of course, we encourage patients to contact us immediately with concerns or questions about their teeth and how to care for their mouths following treatment. And it’s always a good practice for you to reach out to us before a toothache or other concerning symptoms arise. Schedule an appointment today; call us at (269) 883-1674.