Every adult typically has thirty-two teeth, with each of them having its distinct functions. The front teeth grip the food and bite them into pieces, while the back teeth grind them to help easy swallowing. Out of all these teeth, wisdom teeth are the last ones to emerge. Most individuals have four wisdom teeth, and they usually come out during their late teens. However, they may cause several problems if they don't emerge properly or are impacted.
For some people, impacted wisdom teeth may not cause any apparent or immediate issues. But for others, it can lead to overcrowding in the mouth or cause pain, infection, and damage to the other teeth. Dentists recommend removing such impacted wisdom teeth to prevent pain and other complications.
Purpose of Wisdom Teeth
Our mouth has space for only 28 teeth. So, what purpose does wisdom teeth serve? Anthropologists believe that wisdom teeth were provisions for our ancestors to chew coarse, hard food like nuts, meats, and roots. However, today, as we eat only soft foods, these teeth have outlived their objective and often cause more harm than good.
Typical Signs that Wisdom Tooth Removal is Necessary
When wisdom teeth emerge after most of the permanent molars are in place, this can lead to overcrowding of teeth in the mouth. You should consider extracting them if it causes the following problems:
- Misaligned wisdom teeth
- Misaligned jaw
- Tooth decay resulting from the trapping of bacteria and food by the partially impacted wisdom teeth
- Constant pain and infection
- Pressure or pain while chewing
- Difficulty brushing or flossing
- Sinus pressure
- Bad breath
- Periodontal disease
- Cysts and tumors around the wisdom teeth and the jaw
- Damage to the neighboring teeth
- Difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene due to their positioning
- Bite issues
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure
Wisdom tooth extraction involves the following steps:
- The dentist obtains an X-Ray of the wisdom tooth to see its impaction and alignment.
- The dentist numbs the affected area with a local anesthetic.
- Using special tools, the dentist cuts in the gum tissues and removes the bone and the targeted wisdom tooth.
- After extracting the tooth, the dentist cleans the socket to avoid infection and promote healing before placing gauze on the area to constrict bleeding.
Like any other tooth removal procedure, the patient may experience post-extraction pain, bleeding, or swelling. Take the prescribed painkillers and follow extraction aftercare tips - avoid strenuous activities and hot drinks, take good rest, eat soft foods, and drink plenty of fluids.
If you would like to know more about wisdom teeth extraction, give us a call at (303) 4222502, or visit us at Ralston Creek Dental, 10229 W 58th Ave, Arvada, CO 80002.