Everything You Need To Know About Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth usually emerge in the younger years, between 18 and 21 years old. With that said, not all four wisdom teeth may erupt for everyone, as many people may only see one or two emerge behind their molars. There are many people whose wisdom teeth don’t show up at all; This is highly dependent on your ethnicity and genetics.
Wisdom Teeth Defined
According to anthropologists, wisdom teeth were necessary for our early human ancestors to chew and eat a variety of tough foods. However, when fire was discovered, this enabled early humans to learn how to cook, so food softened over several years.
Due to this, wisdom teeth became less and less necessary to chew food. So, humans only needed to have up to three molars. Even though these evolutionary changes occurred, we still have the genes for wisdom teeth. Due to this, the majority of humans will still have a minimum of one wisdom tooth.
Buried Wisdom Teeth Showing Up On Dental X-Rays
If you have wisdom teeth under your gum line, this doesn’t indicate that they will erupt. When you do a dental x-ray, it will show your dentist if these buried wisdom teeth have to be removed or not. In most cases, wisdom teeth need to be removed because of how they are positioned under your gums. Most wisdom teeth that don’t erupt can’t do so because there isn’t enough space for them or if they are on their side. When a wisdom tooth falls into one of these problematic categories, they are usually referred to by dentists as being “impacted”.
Symptoms Of Having An Impacted Wisdom Tooth
If you have impacted wisdom teeth, then they are likely quite painful. Unfortunately, impacted wisdom teeth also get infected very easily. Symptoms of pericoronitis are:
– Gums that are swollen or painful
– Bleeding or pus in the area
– Low fever along with lymph nodes that are swollen
– Bad breath that can’t be easily fixed by brushing your teeth or using mouthwash
– Pain while trying to chew with your molars
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, the dentist will likely want to get rid of the infection by prescribing an antibiotic. If extraction is done with an infection present, this can lead to the spread of infection throughout your body. According to the American Dental Association, if a wisdom tooth has a cavity, becomes infected, or is causing problems with your other teeth, then they should be removed. This can lead to more severe issues and infections if this isn’t done.
Is It Best To Remove Healthy Wisdom Teeth?
If you have wisdom teeth that appear healthy or don’t seem to be causing issues according to a dental x-ray, it is still best to remove them. This will help to prevent any potential issues in the long run. Unfortunately, if your wisdom teeth are under your gums, they can move and reposition anytime; This means that they can still get impacted or infected. Additionally, your wisdom teeth are more likely to develop cavities compared to other teeth. This is because they are located at the back of the mouth, making it very challenging to access with a toothbrush or floss. As a result, most people have problems cleaning them or flossing properly. Due to this, they typically get cavities a lot faster and easier when compared to other teeth.
Is It Painful To Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
Many people are afraid or anxious about going to the dentist and having a procedure or surgery done. So, it is best to talk about all of your options with your dentist,
If you have a wisdom tooth above the gum line or partially above it, it can be extracted without any sedation. Instead, the dentist will use a dental anesthetic injected near the area. During the extraction, all you will feel is some pulling but you won’t feel any pain.
Once the procedure is done, you’ll feel numb for a couple of hours. Once this has elapsed, you’ll feel minor discomfort for the next few days that would be easily eliminated with typical painkillers.
If your wisdom teeth are embedded, then this will require surgery where a general anesthetic is given. The surgery should only take about an hour.
It should take approximately 2 days to recover from wisdom tooth removal. Once the procedure is done, your dentist will give you painkillers to help with discomfort.