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Why are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

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As you likely already know, wisdom teeth are the third - and final - molars in the back on both the lower and upper jaw. Wisdom teeth aren't only the furthest molars in the rear of the jaw, but they are also the last to erupt through the gums, an occurrence which typically happens as an individual reaches their late teenage years or early twenties.

Why Wisdom Teeth Are Removed

The late-erupting nature of wisdom teeth is why they're arguably the most problematic of all teeth. That's because by the time they erupt, there's usually little to no room left in the mouth for them. This means that if they are allowed to erupt, it could lead to pain, overcrowding of the mouth and/or eventual malocclusion.

Some wisdom teeth never fully erupt. Instead, they remain impacted below the gum line, where they are unable to grow and develop properly. This can also be painful, and matters can become complicated if part of the wisdom teeth ever break through the surface, as they can wreak havoc on the other teeth in the mouth and harbor bacteria.

As you can see, wisdom teeth can be quite troublesome - and that's why an estimated 85 percent of all American adults today have had them removed. Since the tooth roots aren't fully developed prior to an individual turning 20, most dentists prefer their patients to have their wisdom teeth extracted during the late teenage years.

Here's a look at some more information you need to know about wisdom teeth removal:

  • One of the reasons why some won't have to get their wisdom teeth removed is because they don't grow wisdom teeth. While this is mostly contingent on ethnicity, some state that as much as 35 percent of the world's population doesn't grow these teeth.
  • Even if wisdom teeth grow in seemingly fine, many dentists may still recommend their removal. That's because they're so far back in the mouth that they become difficult to clean and treat for tooth decay.
  • Regularly seeing the dentist per the industry-recommended timeline of once every six months is the best way to keep an eye on the development of wisdom teeth as you age. That's because X-rays are typically annually taken, which can monitor the growth of these far-back molars and help to better determine what - if any - impact they are having on the rest of the mouth.
  • Wisdom teeth removal is an outpatient procedure that's conducted with anesthesia. It should be a painless procedure, though swelling and bruising is likely to occur following extraction. In the days following removal, patients are also usually directed to eat soft foods, such as pudding, yogurt, soup and milkshakes.

For more information on the reasons why wisdom teeth are removed and regarding the extraction of wisdom teeth, contact Caven Dental today.

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