The wisdom teeth start emerging in your mouth generally during adolescence, but they can erupt even much later, when you are 20+. These teeth are located in the back of your mouth, and they are also called “third molars”.
Quite often, wisdom teeth do not even erupt from the gums, causing a lot of discomfort when you chew food. In case the impacted wisdom teeth do not cause you any kind of pain or discomfort, you do not necessarily have to extract them. However, if you experience constant pain, you should talk to your dentist about having it extracted.
Some patients develop infections at the site of the wisdom teeth, and if this happens, extraction can usually occur only after the infection is treated properly. Since the wisdom teeth are impacted, and thus covered by gum tissue, the dental surgeon will have to cut through the tissue in order to extract the tooth.
Wisdom teeth extraction is a bit more complex procedure, and you might need stitches after removal as well.
The dental surgeon can use special stitches which dissolve over time. Alternatively, he can use the regular stitches which will need removal after a few days when the wound has healed nicely.
Why are wisdom teeth extracted?
Wisdom teeth generally need extraction because they are problematic for the patient (pain, discomfort), or in order to prevent further complications such as misalignment of the neighboring teeth. As the wisdom tooth tries to erupt, it might force the neighboring teeth to move from their place.
Some patients even get wisdom teeth which do not grow regularly, but at a quite awkward angle (the top of the tooth erupting forwards instead of downward, or to the sides).
Wisdom teeth can easily become infected when the tooth itself will erupt only partially through the gums. Thus, half of the tooth is covered by gum tissue, and all sorts of bacteria/food particles can easily enter the gums and cause infections. Wisdom tooth removal can prevent the following dental health problems:
-crowding of the teeth in the back. As the tooth erupts it “forces” the neighboring teeth to grow awkward
-wisdom teeth may or may not erupt at all. When the tooth is impacted and causing a lot of pain, it is best to have it removed
-partially erupted wisdom teeth can also cause a lot of problems such as extremely painful gums, or a gumline which is red and swollen
-when you are struggling with conditions such as gingivitis, dental decay or gum disease, the wisdom teeth are extremely difficult to treat and clean, so again extraction might be the best solution
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Associated Risks
After extraction, you might experience some of the following side effects:
-swelling in the gum line
-pain in the gums for up to 48 hours after wisdom tooth extraction
-pain the jaw. You might experience a difficulty in opening your mouth wide open (since the extraction took place at the very back portion of the mouth)
-temporary numbness until the anesthetic effect is gone
-dry socket- dislodging of the blood clot that forms after the extraction