Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to develop. Yours may show up anywhere between the ages of 17 and 25. They may erupt through the gums or they may not, but they will eventually make their presence known one way or another.
Does everyone need to have their wisdom teeth removed? Perhaps, but not necessarily. Here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth and what to expect.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that develop at the back of your mouth. You typically get 4 wisdom teeth, 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom. They are called wisdom teeth because they tend to form in the later teenage or early adult years, making them associated with a certain level of maturity that is reached by that age.
Common Problems With Wisdom Teeth
More often than not, wisdom teeth cause dental and oral health problems for people. Common problems may include:
- They come in crooked. Wisdom teeth often come in crooked or at the wrong angle. It can be difficult to correct this problem, so extraction is often a better option.
- They don’t come in at all. Wisdom teeth often get stuck under the gums and don’t come in at all. This can cause a problem if they are stuck under the roots of the other molars or in the jaw bone.
- They push against the other teeth. Wisdom teeth often push against the back molars, causing damage to the teeth or the roots. They can also cause crowding of the other teeth by pushing them all forward.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Most oral surgeons agree that if the wisdom teeth are not causing any problems, they should not be extracted. There is not necessarily a reason to undergo oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth that are not causing damage or pain. They should be monitored regularly during your routine dental appointments in case problems arise.
If the wisdom teeth are causing problems such as those listed above, it is in your best interest to have them removed. It is usually better to have them removed sooner rather than later. The older you get, the more difficult it can be to extract the wisdom teeth.
Do Impacted Wisdom Teeth Always Need to Be Removed?
The term impacted simply means that the teeth are still under the gums. It doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. Some impacted wisdom teeth can remain until they come in or until they begin to cause problems, such as development of a cyst. The term impacted is often misunderstood when it comes to wisdom teeth.
Why Go To an Oral Surgeon for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Oral surgeons specialize in wisdom teeth extraction, meaning they have the necessary experience, equipment, and anesthesia to make the procedure safe and efficient. Fullerton Oral Surgery provides wisdom teeth evaluation and extraction when necessary. We can assess the current position of your wisdom teeth and make a recommendation for how to proceed.
Call 714-525-1178 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wisdom Teeth Extraction
What type of anesthesia is used for wisdom teeth extraction?
The type of anesthesia used for wisdom teeth extraction depends on the situation. Some patients may be able to have their wisdom teeth extracted with just local anesthesia. Others may have more complex situations that call for IV sedation or even general anesthesia in some cases. Your personal comfort is the top priority in this decision.
How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth extraction?
You may need to rest for the first 24-48 hours after having your wisdom teeth removed. Everyone is different, so your recovery will be specific to your own experience. You should be feeling back to normal in about a week with full healing in about 2 weeks to a month.
Top 10 Wisdom Teeth Questions Answered
Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure. It is almost considered to be a right of passage, as most people will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. If you’re wondering if you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, or if you are already scheduled for the procedure, you have some questions. Here are the top 10 wisdom teeth questions answered.
1.What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that develop behind the 12 year molars. They are the largest molars in a person’s mouth. Most people will have 4 wisdom teeth that form in the back of their jaw.
2.Why Are They Called Wisdom Teeth?
The third set of molars are called wisdom teeth because they typically develop in the late teenage years or in early adulthood as young people start to mature. Wisdom teeth will usually form sometime between the ages of 17 and 25 for most people.
3.Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Extracted?
Most of the time wisdom teeth are too large to exist comfortably in a person’s mouth. As humans have evolved, our jaws are not as large as they once were when wisdom teeth were necessary for survival. More primitive humans used to eat raw meat and their food often contained sticks and other natural debris that required the wisdom teeth to chew effectively.
Now that we are civilized enough to cook our food and be more discerning about what we eat, our wisdom teeth are no longer necessary and our jaws often don’t have room to accommodate them. This causes wisdom teeth to come in at an angle or become impacted, meaning they are trapped below the gums and under the 12 year molars. Wisdom teeth will push against the back molars, causing damage and crowding of the other teeth.
4.Do All Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Extracted?
In some cases wisdom teeth come in properly because a person has room for them. In these cases it is usually safe to let the wisdom teeth remain in place. However, frequent monitoring during routine dental visits is important in case they become a problem.
5.Do I Need To Be Asleep For Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
The type of anesthesia required for wisdom teeth extraction depends on the situation. Wisdom teeth that are visible above the gums may be able to be extracted with just local anesthesia. If the teeth are impacted they will be more difficult to remove, and IV sedation may be necessary.
6.What is Recovery Like?
Patients may need to rest for the first 24-48 hours after wisdom teeth extraction, especially if sedation was used. Prescription pain medication may be prescribed, but in many cases over the counter medication is sufficient.
7.What Can I Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Good nutrition and adequate fluid intake are important after surgery. Start off with cool liquids and soft foods. This is to prevent you from burning or biting your lip, cheek, or tongue. Suggestions are scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pudding, pasta, milkshakes, and yogurt. We encourage you to resume your normal diet as soon as possible. Avoid straws for one week.
8.What is Dry Socket?
Dry socket occurs when the blood clot comes loose from the socket, exposing the tissue and nerves that are underneath. Drinking from a straw can cause this as the sucking motion can dislodge the clot. If you experience severe pain, contact your oral surgeon.
9.Is Wisdom Teeth Extraction Painful?
The procedure itself is not painful at all. Various forms of anesthesia may be used from local anesthetic to IV sedation to ensure your comfort.
10.What Happens If I Don’t Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you choose not to have your wisdom teeth removed when your dentist or oral surgeon recommends it, you may experience a variety of problems, such as damaged teeth, orthodontic issues, and gum disease.
Contact Fullerton Oral Surgery
Fullerton Oral Surgery provides Wisdom Teeth Extraction among many other oral surgery services. Call 714-525-1178 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.
When Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
Wisdom teeth are no longer necessary for the human species and haven’t been for a long time. Instead, they present problems and contribute to dental complications, causing many dental patients to need them removed.
Most dentists and oral surgeons will tell you that your wisdom teeth must come out as soon as they emerge, usually during a person’s late teens or early twenties. However, there are additional reasons and signs that it might be time to remove wisdom teeth.
Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Come Out
Wisdom teeth aren’t necessary and often cause overcrowding of teeth in the mouth. So every time you go in for a routine cleaning and check-up, your dentist looks for various signs that it’s time for your wisdom teeth to come out.
Impaction occurs when wisdom teeth grow but don’t fully emerge through the gums. Sometimes they grow crooked or at a weird angle, damaging or risking damage to healthy teeth next to them. This situation can cause jawbone cysts, infections, gum diseases, and even teeth growing 180 degrees in the wrong direction into the jaw. Sometimes patients begin to notice symptoms at this point, and sometimes they don’t.
Food, bacteria, and plaque can become trapped underneath gum tissue near the wisdom teeth. If you experience swollen or painful gums, it’s a common sign that the wisdom teeth are impacted or have started emerging.
Stiff Jaw or Jaw Pain
Jaw stiffness is a common sign that wisdom teeth are putting pressure on the jaw. In fact, jaw immobility and stiffness can eventually cause jaw pain as the wisdom teeth continue to crowd and pressure the surrounding teeth. Any stiffness or discomfort of the jaw should be reported to a dentist or oral surgeon immediately. The human jaw generally doesn’t have space to hold more than 28 teeth, so wisdom teeth cannot correctly emerge without disrupting and harming healthy teeth.
Sometimes fluid-filled sacs form on oral tissues like gums or the jaw if impacted wisdom teeth are present. These sacs are called cysts, which can cause the roots of nearby teeth to rot and result in damage to the jawbone. Oral cysts may also turn into tumors that necessitate jaw surgery and additional invasive procedures.
Sensitivity, Pain, or Discomfort in the Back of the Mouth
Wisdom teeth removal may also be necessary if you experience pain, discomfort, or sensitivity near the back of the mouth when you brush your teeth. If brushing or chewing starts to frequently cause pain or other problems, see your dentist immediately, as it might be time to remove your wisdom teeth.
Adjacent Tooth Decay
Emerging wisdom teeth can disrupt and damage healthy teeth to the point of causing tooth decay. Healthy teeth get pushed out of place and exposed to dangerous bacteria in the mouth. If you ignore pain or sensitivities, your dental issues could worsen.
Do Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Come Out?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, the dental professionals at Fullerton Oral Surgery can help. Don’t wait for your symptoms to get worse. Instead, contact us today by phone at 714-525-1178 or request an appointment online.