No, wisdom teeth won’t make you smarter. They’re called that because they usually come in when you’re older, around 17 to 21. They are located in the very back of your mouth and you get two on top and two on the bottom as part of a complete set of 32 adult teeth.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Frequently Removed?
You’re more likely to have issues with these molars than with any other teeth. Each year, some 10 million wisdom teeth are removed or extracted, and the top reason is impaction, when the tooth may not have enough room to come out from the gum like it should.
Some dentists recommend taking them out as a precaution. Before the tooth comes in, the sack of tissue around it can grow into a cyst, which can lead to bone loss in your jaw. If the tooth is on its side under your gum, it can destroy nearby teeth by eating away the roots. Bacteria and plaque can build up around a tooth that’s only partly out.
In-Office Extraction: How your dentist takes your tooth out depends on how far it is out of your gum. If it has come in completely, your dentist can do it. You’ll probably have a little bleeding the first day and feel sore and swollen for a few days. You shouldn’t brush your teeth for 24 hours and after that, gently gargle with warm salt water every 2 hours for a week.
Oral Surgery: If your tooth is still below the gum line, you’ll need to see an oral surgeon. During the operation, you’ll be given medicine to make you sleepy, so you won’t feel pain or remember much. You may be able to manage your pain with over-the-counter drugs, or your surgeon may recommend prescription painkillers, especially if they took out any bone.
When to Call Your Dentist Following Extraction
Talk to your dentist or surgeon right away if:
- You have a hard time breathing or swallowing;
- Blood won’t stop oozing after a day or two, or pain lasts more than a week;
- Your face or jaw stays swollen for more than a few days;
- You have a fever;
- You feel numbness or notice pus or foul smells.
Having problems with your wisdom teeth? Want to know if they should be removed? You don’t have to wonder – call our office today to schedule a consultation and we’ll answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.