What are wisdom teeth and why so many people have them removed?

Everyone has heard of wisdom teeth but many people do not understand what they actually are. And with wisdom teeth removal a common procedure, many don’t know why we have them or what their purpose is. Before getting your wisdom teeth assessed for removal, understanding the basics is essential.

Wisdom teeth are situated at the very back of the mouth. They typically develop in a person’s late teens, between the ages of 17 and 21. Wisdom teeth were named so as they are the last of the large grinding teeth to emerge, said to develop when you have become “wiser”. Also known as molars, they have the same function as the other molars in the back of the mouth and many people do not ever have issues with these teeth. However, they can grow irregularly and removal may be required.

There are many reasons why wisdom teeth may not grow the right way. One of the most common complications is a lack of space in the jaw for the erupting wisdom teeth. When this happens, the teeth become “impacted”. Symptoms can include intense pain, swelling and infection. While antibiotics can remove or lessen symptoms temporarily, removal is the best way to ensure the symptoms are gone for good.

A dentist or oral surgeon will be able to determine if you require removal of your wisdom teeth and assist with the procedure. The dentist will physically check your teeth as well as offer X-rays to see how far the wisdom teeth have developed. Dependant on how many teeth need removal and how they are formed will help determine whether you do it in the dentist’s chair or at a hospital and how much pain you may have after the procedure.

After the removal of wisdom teeth, it is recommended to take time to recuperate. How long you need will depend on how developed your molars were. You should also have over-the-counter pain killers on hand. You should avoid vigorous rinsing or brushing and only rinse gently with warm salt water when necessary, such as after meals. Most people do not experience any problems after the removal, but if you are worried, consult your dentist.

For more information, or to check if you need your wisdom teeth removed, talk to the experts at Brisbane dental clinic, Smile Artistry.