What You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth

What You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth

Ever wondered why we have wisdom teeth? Or what exactly wisdom teeth does for us? Or whether or not you want to have your wisdom teeth extracted. This article will help you answer these questions and even more. Continue reading to discover all you need to know about wisdom teeth.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are what the final set of molars- that is the teeth found at the back of the mouth are called. They initially appear quite long initially after all of the adult teeth have become established in the mouth. Most people’s wisdom teeth break through their gum line usually n their late teenage years to early twenties and can be very discomforting for some when they do so. 

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

Historically, it is thought our ancestors needed an extra set of molars for grinding and chewing food that was raw and hard to tear. Many anthropologists believe many people still have wisdom teeth growing in to serve this purpose, even though our consumption of food does not require an extra set of teeth anymore. For some people, they don’t get wisdom teeth at all and it’s theorized that this evolutionary modification is because we have no use for them any more. 

Why do wisdom teeth grow in crooked?

It’s may not be factual that all wisdom teeth grow in crookedly. There are many instances where wisdom teeth grow in perfectly straight and are a healthy addition to the mouth. When this happens, there is no need for them to be removed. However, often times,  wisdom teeth do grow in crooked, and this usually depends on the specific mouth they are growing into and the genetic makeup of that person.

What happens with misaligned wisdom teeth?

When wisdom teeth grow in crooked, it is highly possibly that they can negatively affect the other teeth surrounding them. What this means is that the misaligned tooth could cause crowding, damage to adjacent teeth, or even jaw and nerve damage. It’s advisable to remove wisdom teeth that poses a threat to the health of your mouth.

What does  impacted wisdom tooth mean?

An impacted wisdom tooth is one that has not been able to break through the gum line because another tooth or teeth is blocking it. The wisdom tooth cannot erupt as there’s not enough room and this can cause great discomfort or severe pain. If the impacted wisdom tooth eventually push through the little space it has before it is removed, this can lead to gum damage, infection, and damage to the jaw line. 

How are wisdom teeth removed?

There are different ways of doing this and each case is different and the simplicity of the procedure depends on how developed the tooth is, whether or not it has broken through the gum line, and how much damage it has caused to the rest of the mouth. Your dentist will describe your specific situation to you, outlining exactly what you can expect during the procedure.

Wisdom teeth that have broken through the gum line are easily extracted, which is why your dentist may choose to wait to conduct a removal until this has happened. One of the most difficult removal procedures is when the wisdom tooth is embedded in the bone as this requires the tooth to be removed in different parts. In any case, a local anaesthetic will be applied to the area of the mouth being operated on and your dentist may decide to also use sedation to keep you more comfortable.

How long does it take to recover after a wisdom tooth is removed?

Recovery time varies from one person to another, with full recovery taking between a couple of weeks to a few months. During this time, it’s important you follow your dentist’s direction very carefully and to avoid irritating the area or ruining stitches with harsh foods, drinks, and suction. If non-dissolving stitches are used, they will be removed approximately a week after the procedure. A checkup will be scheduled by your dentist to see how well you are healing after the procedure is done and will update you with your progress.


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