What Are Wisdom Teeth & Why Do People Remove Them?

December 27, 2018 12:57 pm

You’ve probably heard people discuss getting their wisdom teeth removed. Here, we’ll explain what wisdom teeth are and why people remove them.

bearded man pondering if he should get his wisdom teeth removed

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are your third, and final, set of molars which usually appear in your mouth in your late teens or early twenties. When they come in correctly, they can assist in helping you chew. However, they usually don’t come in well and need to be removed.

Why Do We Have to Remove Wisdom Teeth?

There are a number of reasons why your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. Most people’s wisdom teeth come in incorrectly because they come in in the wrong position or there isn’t enough space for them to erupt to the surface. Wisdom teeth can come in misaligned, angled inward or outward, left or right, in away that could crowd or damage the jawbone, nerves, and teeth nearby. If they’re aligned poorly, they could also create space where food can become trapped and an environment where decay-causing bacteria can grow. Similarly, you might not be able to floss between the teeth near your wisdom teeth.

Finally, if your wisdom teeth do not have enough room to come up to the surface, they could become impacted. This means that the wisdom teeth are trapped below the surface of your teeth within soft tissue or even your jawbone. If an impacted wisdom tooth isn’t removed, it could damage bone and nerves in your mouth, eventually leading to tooth loss. Sometimes your wisdom teeth can partially erupt, causing a pocket where bacteria can get in around the tooth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

What Is the Process for Removing Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth’s removal process depends heavily on how your teeth are positioned and the stage at which they have developed. If your wisdom teeth have fully erupted, it’ll be a similar procedure to any other type of tooth removal. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, an incision will need to be made to remove the teeth. In any case, the area will be numbed so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. You may also be sedated to handle any anxiety.

What Is the Recovery Process for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

In the first 24 hours after the procedure, you may experience bleeding, facial swelling, and some pain at the extraction site. You’ll need to use pain medication, gauze at the site of bleeding, and apply ice to the outside of your mouth to keep these symptoms at bay. After that, you may still experience facial swelling so you should continue to apply the ice to the area. You’ll also need to rinse your mouth out with a salt water solution after you eat. Speaking of, your diet will mostly consist of soft foods for the first few days. As you heal, watch for signs of dry socket, which is a complication that happens when a blood clot hasn’t formed in the socket and therefore delays healing.

If you have any questions about wisdom teeth or think that yours need to be removed, contact us today!

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