Wisdom teeth removal is very common. In fact, extracting these back molars can almost be viewed as a “rite of passage” for teenagers, as the procedure is most often performed between the ages of 17 and 21. However, not every teen or young adult is told they need wisdom teeth removal – which begs the question, why do some of us need them out and others can leave them in?
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars to emerge in the mouth. They provide little to no functional benefit for today’s average person. There is a theory that these back molars served a greater purpose in the ancient era, when diets included roots, raw meat and fibrous plants that required more molars for grinding food. Today, however, we tend to consumer softer foods. When we combine a softer diet with the fact that we also have smaller jaws than our ancestors, there is really no good reason to keep the wisdom teeth if they are posing a risk.
Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
During your teen years, your dentist will keep a close watch on how your wisdom teeth are emerging through digital x-rays. If it looks like there is going to be a complication, wisdom teeth removal is often recommended as a proactive or preventative measure. There are multiple reasons why wisdom teeth need to be removed, including the following:
- Impaction: This is one of the most serious problems for wisdom teeth. This occurs when the wisdom teeth don’t emerge through the gum line and get trapped underneath. Painful jaw cysts, misalignment and infection can result if the teeth are not extracted.
- Lack of Space: Wisdom teeth that are crowded in the back of the mouth can cause damage to neighboring teeth as well as be difficult to keep clean.
- Partial Eruption: Sometimes the wisdom teeth only partially emerge, which creates sneaky areas for bacteria and plaque to accumulate. Decay and gum disease become a major risk!
The Procedure and Recovery
Don’t worry; if you need wisdom teeth removal, you can expect a straightforward and minor oral surgery. With today’s anesthetics and sedation dentistry, the procedure itself is not painful. Patients typically return to normal activities and eating habits within a few days. You’ll want to maintain a soft-foods diet, get plenty of rest and avoid alcoholic, caffeinated and hot beverages for the first 24 to 48 hours to facilitate ideal healing.
Do you need to have your wisdom teeth removed? Don’t wait until painful symptoms present themselves. Call Gold Hill Dentistry today.
2848 Pleasant Rd, Suite 104
Fort Mill, SC 29708
Phone: (803) 566-8055