Wisdom Teeth Basics

While it’s common to hear about wisdom teeth removal, a lot of people don’t really understand what wisdom teeth even are or why they have to be taken out in the first place.

Wisdom teeth are, simply, the last set of molars to grow. Some people get all 4, some fewer, and some don’t get them at all. If you have wisdom teeth , they’ll likely start growing in between the ages of 16 and 20. Unfortunately, since they’re the last teeth in your mouth, there might not be any room for them. This can cause a lot of pain, particularly if they put too much pressure on the rest of your teeth or get blocked by other teeth (impacted). Leaving your wisdom teeth in when they should be removed can cause pain, swelling, bleeding gums, and headache.

Your dentist will be able to tell if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed before they start causing problems by looking at your X-rays. If your wisdom teeth are improperly aligned or just don’t have enough room to grow, your dentist will recommend an extraction before they begin to grow more.

Wisdom tooth extraction is usually a simple procedure. Unless your teeth have become impacted, your dentist will be able to easily cut open your gums over the teeth, remove the tooth and some of the surrounding bone, and stitch the gums closed again. An impacted tooth may require more time to remove, but the procedure is the same.

Although it’s often a somewhat painful recovery, having your wisdom teeth removed before they become a bigger problem will actually save you time and pain down the road. If you’re concerned, call our office to schedule a consultation about about your wisdom teeth and we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have.