Wisdom teeth: Should you remove them if they aren’t a problem?

Wisdom teeth: Should you remove them if they aren’t a problem?

Many people assume that the wisdom teeth will be removed at some point. This usually happens when the person who has to have them extracted enters early adulthood. Wisdom teeth get their unique name because they typically appear when you’re older, around ages 17 to 21. Usually, the teeth become impacted or infected; some would say that this is inevitable.

But what if this doesn’t happen? Should you remove them as a precautionary measure?

Reasons for removal

Wisdom teeth are the teeth that are situated right at the back of the mouth, on the top and the bottom of the jaw. In many cases, the wisdom teeth push through the gums with little to grow. As they emerge and push the existing permanent teeth out of the way, they become impacted and cause severe discomfort. To relieve the pain, the teeth need to be removed. Other people start noticing that the wisdom teeth have decayed. This can be identified by a foul smell coming from the back of the mouth. This happens more often than not because there is very little space between the back teeth and the wisdom teeth, so cleaning between them can be almost impossible. The deep position in the mouth makes flossing difficult.

Many people choose to remove the wisdom teeth before these issues even occur.

Some dentists recommend taking them out as a precaution. This is because they will most likely cause problems in the future, says Web MD.

Recently, researchers and public-health experts are against removing the otherwise healthy teeth if they aren’t causing a problem. The removal process is, in fact, a surgery, and can cause unnecessary pain and possible side effects like infection and other things. If your dentist suggests removal, and you’re not sure if you should do so, you can always get a second opinion.

Issues that can come from wisdom teeth

There are many symptoms to look out for, to ascertain whether or not your wisdom teeth are posing a problem. Pain in the general area is a dead giveaway, as well as a feeling of tightness in that area of the jaw. If the teeth are coming through, 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.

If the tooth is already out, there is the added danger that you will repeatedly bite the inner cheek surrounding it when you speak or chew. It might not hurt, but can cause trauma to the area and get infected.

The process

Okay, so let’s say that you have decided to have the teeth removed, what is the process? As mentioned above, the removal of the wisdom teeth is an operation. There is a lot more work and anaesthetic involved than when removing other teeth.

You may want to have someone take you and fetch you, as you will feel a bit groggy after. According to Viral Rang, Your oral surgeon will begin the procedure by numbing your mouth and sedating you.

The extraction process usually takes around 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how easy your wisdom teeth are to remove. The surgeon will carefully cut open your gums to access the teeth, extract them, and stitch your gums back together again with dissolvable stitches, the site continues.

The dentist will put some cotton rolls or gauze in your mouth. This will absorb any blood or seepage from the wound.

The dental team will gradually wake you up, give you any required prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics, and have your driver take you home.

Recovery depends on the amount of work done and how much anaesthetic you were given. You will, of course, need to follow your dentist’s orders to the tee regarding rinsing and when you are allowed to eat and drink again.

Need a dentist? Well, Affinity Dental has you covered. Affinity Dental has three tiers of dental insurance available at different price points. Each of these options covers individual specialist work to various degrees. 

Adults and children need to visit the dentist at least twice a year and these dental maintenance appointments can start to add up.

Dental insurance will cover you for any additional treatments such as crowns, root canals or fillings, whether they are done at the dentist, or specialist practice.  

Usually, a dentist will refer you to a specialist, if needed. 

If you need to find an Affinity Dental approved dentist in your area, click here. 

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