- Wisdom teeth are unnecessary; we do not technically need them anymore
- Sometimes there is enough room for the wisdom teeth and they grow naturally without issue
- You should speak with your dentist about your wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to grow in. They are located in the back four corners of your mouth. Typically wisdom teeth erupt during the late adolescent years. Most people have wisdom teeth; however, some people may only have one or two wisdom teeth or none at all.
Wisdom teeth are unnecessary; we do not technically need them anymore. In fact, evolution has started to phase them out of use. This is why more and more people are born with less than four wisdom teeth or none at all. Studies have shown that as our brains have grown bigger, taking up more room in our heads, our mouths have become too small to accommodate the extra, superfluous row of molars.
Sometimes there is enough room for the wisdom teeth and they grow naturally without issue. On the other hand, if there isn’t enough room in your mouth to accommodate wisdom teeth, you may need to have them removed. Wisdom teeth can quickly become problematic if they put pressure on your other teeth. They can wreak havoc on the alignment of your teeth, pushing your regular molars out of the way. You may also have impacted molars, which means the molars never emerge through the bone and gum line and remain in your jaw, often causing pain.
You should speak with your dentist about your wisdom teeth. They may tell you there’s nothing to worry about and your mouth has room to keep the wisdom teeth or they may recommend extraction. The extraction of wisdom teeth is a common procedure. It’s often performed at a general dental surgery.
Wisdom teeth extractions are commonplace and not that different that regular teeth extractions. However, it is a type of surgery and, if the wisdom teeth are impacted, the surgery will be a little more extensive. Surgeons may use local anesthetic, general anesthetic, or sedation if necessary, and you will need time to recuperate after the surgery. Usually, your dentist will recommend that you have someone to drive you to the surgery and pick you up afterwards. You may still experience the effects of the anesthesia and sedation drugs for some time after the procedure.
After the surgery, you’ll likely be in some pain and may experience some bleeding at the surgical site. The pain can last up to a week, but painkillers can help make it bearable. Additionally, your face and jaw may be swollen for some time. Use an ice pack to help reduce the swelling.
It’s important to speak with your dentist about your wisdom teeth. You may be lucky enough not to need them removed or you may need to schedule an extraction surgery to avoid future complications down the road.