Posts Tagged ‘wisdom teeth’

Wisdom Teeth

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Also called third year molars, wisdom teeth usually appear when an individual is between 17 and 21 years old. Your wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and don’t generally serve any specific purpose. Some individuals never have their wisdom teeth erupt. In many cases, wisdom teeth come in crooked or impacted, which requires removal of these teeth.

Most adults have four wisdom teeth, two uppers and two lowers. Because of the location of the wisdom teeth, they can crowd adjacent teeth, damage the jawbone, and cause discomfort. When the wisdom teeth lean towards your second molars, the molars may become harder to clean and more susceptible to food debris.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth can stay partially or completely covered by the gums and soft tissue – this is what is referred to as an impacted tooth. Partially erupted wisdom teeth can allow bacteria to enter the area and easily create infection. These teeth are also more prone to decay because they are so hard to reach. Usually, impacted wisdom teeth require surgical removal.

After an examination and X-rays, your dentist will determine if extraction is necessary. Generally, dentists recommend removal of wisdom teeth as early as possible since the procedure and recovery are easier on younger patients. When the wisdom teeth are fully erupted, the extraction is a simple process, similar to any other tooth removal. With impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist will need to make an incision in the gums and possibly remove the tooth in sections.

Following wisdom teeth removal, you can expect some bleeding and possible swelling, especially near the extraction site. Your dentist or surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Avoid spitting or sucking for 24 to 48 hours so that you don’t develop dry sockets, a condition that occurs when the blood clot fails to form in the socket or it dislodges from the area.

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