Wisdom Teeth: What you need to know

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the four molars that are located at the back of the mouth, also known as the third molars. They are the last teeth to erupt, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth are not always necessary for chewing, and they can sometimes cause problems if they do not erupt properly.

Why are they called wisdom teeth?

The name “wisdom teeth” comes from the belief that they come in at a time when people are supposed to be wise. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

What are the problems that wisdom teeth can cause?

Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems, including:

  • Impaction: This is when the wisdom teeth do not erupt properly and become stuck under the gum or bone. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, and infection.
  • Crowding: This is when the wisdom teeth erupt and push other teeth out of place. Crowded teeth can make it difficult to clean and brush, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.
  • Gum disease: Wisdom teeth can be more prone to gum disease than other teeth. Gum disease can cause pain, bleeding, and tooth loss.
  • Cysts and tumors: Wisdom teeth can sometimes develop cysts or tumors, which can be serious.

When should wisdom teeth be removed?

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth should be removed if they are causing problems or if there is a risk that they will cause problems in the future. The decision of whether or not to remove wisdom teeth is made on a case-by-case basis, and should be discussed with your dentist or oral surgeon.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth can be removed under local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or IV sedation. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the complexity of the procedure.

What is the recovery time after wisdom teeth removal?

The recovery time after wisdom teeth removal varies depending on the individual and the complexity of the procedure. Most people are able to return to work or school within a few days of surgery.

Is there anything I can do to prevent problems with my wisdom teeth?

There is no surefire way to prevent problems with wisdom teeth, but there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk, including:

  • See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
  • Brush and floss your teeth twice a day.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

If you are experiencing any problems with your wisdom teeth, it is important to see your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. Early treatment can help to prevent more serious problems.

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