Tales of wisdom teeth often sound like horror stories, but that’s not the whole story. In fact, wisdom teeth were once useful tools that helped ancient people chew and eat. Here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth are the back most molars on each side of teeth, they usually erupt between ages 17 and 25. They are the third molars, and ancient humans used wisdom teeth to grind up hard foods that were difficult to digest.
Impacted wisdom teeth are simply the teeth which are blocked from growing properly
Most people assume that wisdom teeth always need to be removed, It’s not necessary for you to get your wisdom teeth removed if they are correctly positioned in your mouth and do not cause any pain or dental problems. In fact, some people have wisdom teeth grow perfectly into their smile without crowding or issue. However, most wisdom teeth need to be removed before they erupt to prevent potential crowding problems.
If there is not enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt, they can become impacted, which causes them to grow in sideways and is a reason for removal. Wisdom teeth can also push against second molars, pushing them out of alignment and making them more difficult to clean and susceptible to decay. Additionally, narrow spaces between molars can become more easily infected with bacteria, which raise the risk of periodontal disease, inflammation and decay.
There is no “correct age” for wisdom tooth removal. Some people get their wisdom teeth at a young age, while some others get them in adulthood. But if you need to remove wisdom teeth, it would be better to take them out younger because the healing process would be a bit quicker. However, if you’re in your 40s with all your wisdom teeth and they cause no oral health complications, taking them out is not necessary.
Wisdom teeth removal is usually done under anesthetic, so the procedure itself is not painful at all. However, the recovery period after a wisdom tooth removal can be uncomfortable. Swelling and limited mouth opening can last anywhere between 1 and 4 days. A typical recovery period is dependent upon how impacted the incoming wisdom teeth are, how large the teeth are, and how deep they are when they are extracted.
If you’re experiencing pain in the very back of your mouth, then it may be time to evaluate how your wisdom teeth are growing.
Visit our office so we can evaluate your smile, and provide a treatment plan that will improve your smile and avoid any wisdom tooth pain down the road.
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