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Four Facts You May Not Know About Wisdom Teeth

If you’re experiencing issues with your wisdom teeth and your dentist recommends removing them, you may have questions about their purpose and why they need to be extracted. Learn the pertinent facts about wisdom teeth here.

Your wisdom teeth, also sometimes called your third molars, are extra teeth that you don’t really need. Researchers believe they were required some time in the past, but human jaws are now smaller and many people don’t have the space in their mouth to accommodate these extra four teeth.

Most adult wisdom teeth erupt on each side of the upper jaw and lower jaw between ages 17 and 21, although some may get them earlier or later. When these extra molars cause pain or overcrowding, you need to see your dentist for an extraction.

The talented and skilled dentists at Chester Family Dentistry remove wisdom teeth with the advantage of sedation to keep you comfortable. Whether your wisdom teeth have just started to come in or you’re ready to have them removed, here are some facts to keep in mind.

1. Wisdom Teeth Don’t Always Cause Problems

Wisdom teeth begin growing deep inside your gums around age 7. Some people have no problems with their wisdom teeth and hardly realize they’ve arrived. Others, however, can experience pain, infection, overcrowding, or other oral health problems.

The Chester Family Dentistry team checks to ensure that your wisdom teeth have fully come in, they have enough room, that they’re not trapping food, and that you can adequately brush and floss. If your dentist detects potential issues with your wisdom teeth, they may recommend extraction.

2. If They’re Impacted, They Must Come Out

When wisdom teeth don’t have room to erupt successfully, dental professionals call them impacted. This just means there isn’t enough room for them to grow in correctly alongside your existing molars.

They can erupt crookedly or get trapped under your gums, damaging other tooth roots. Partially erupted third molars are ripe for infection and plaque buildup, leading to cavities and other problems. When these types of problems threaten your oral and overall health, your dentist at Chester Family Dentistry recommends extraction.

3. Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Cysts

Sometimes, a wisdom tooth that’s still below the gumline can form a cyst. This small sac of tissue can form with fluid or soft material and may not cause any issues, but it can become dangerous if infection sets in. An infection can weaken your bone structure and, if it enters your bloodstream, cause other serious health issues.

4. Wisdom Teeth Extractions May Require Surgery

Your dentist can pull fully erupted wisdom teeth like other teeth. Molars that get hung up below the gumline require a more involved surgical extraction. Your dentist can discuss the available forms of sedation and recommend the best one for your needs and health condition.

Extractions don’t take long, but they leave you somewhat swollen and sore for a few days. Your dentist provides you with instructions on caring for your mouth and gums — avoiding brushing around the extraction sites for 24 hours, warm salt water rinses, icing your jaw, and pain relief medication. You may also need to eat soft foods and drink only water for about seven days while you heal.

Are you experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth? Contact Chester Family Dentistry today by booking an appointment online or calling our friendly staff.