Wisdom Teeth Removal at Watkin Dental Associates
Typically wisdom teeth emerge between the ages of 17 and 21 but can even show from 14. Some people have all four erupt, while others may only see one or two appear. There are even some young adults without any due to genetics and ethnicity.
Keep reading to learn more about wisdom teeth, why we have them, and if you really need to bother removing them.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also called ‘third molars,’ are your last set of adult teeth to grow in and are located in the very back of your mouth.
It has been said that wisdom teeth were essential for grinding and chewing raw, tough foods that our early ancestors’ diet consisted of. Discovering fire allowed our ancestors to cook and eat soft foods, needing these teeth much less. However, the genes are still passed on to us.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth grow and never cause any trouble. But more often than not, they become partially or fully impacted in the gums or jawbone and require your dentist or oral surgeon to remove them.
What is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
Even if you have wisdom teeth below the gumline, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will emerge. We will take X-rays to see whether they need to be removed. The main reason for wisdom teeth extraction is the positioning beneath the gum line.
If they fail to erupt into the mouth, they either lie sideways or cannot emerge due to a lack of space. The clinical term used is an impacted wisdom tooth. Most cases of tooth extraction are due to impaction. Follow this link to learn more.
Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful and quickly become infected. Signs of infection include:
- – Painful, swollen gum tissue
- – Discharge and bleeding
- – Bad breath
- – Swollen lymph nodes and low-grade fever
- – Painful chewing
Wisdom teeth removal is necessary if they become infected because they can cause damage to other teeth. Extracting impacted teeth while there is an infection can cause it to spread into other areas of the body. In this case, our doctors will prescribe antibiotics before your oral surgery appointment. We recommend removing impacted wisdom teeth, as ignoring them may cause more serious oral infections.
Should Healthy Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Even if they seem healthy, you should still consider wisdom teeth removal to avoid future dental issues. They can reposition at any time in the gums, quickly leading to impaction and possibly infection.
Also, because they sit very far back in the jaw, they are harder to reach. Typically they don’t get brushed and flossed correctly and tend to develop cavities faster than other teeth.
Few patients look forward to oral surgery, but there is nothing to fear. You are provided general anesthesia and won’t feel a thing. Making preparations early and having ice packs and soft foods ready to go will help you completely heal and improve oral health long term. Click here to learn more.
Are you looking to remove your wisdom teeth or need a few questions answered about the extraction procedure? Are you looking for a dental specialist in Fitchburg, MA., with experience that provides outstanding oral health care to you and your loved ones? Contact Watkin Dental Associates today to assess your unique situation. Our dental team has many years of experience in wisdom tooth removal and will make your comfort their top priority.