All About Wisdom Teeth Removal
Deciding whether or not to have your wisdom teeth removed is a decision that many people face in early adulthood. For the vast majority of people, removing wisdom teeth is not only recommended but is often necessary for avoiding unwanted complications later in life. Opting to remove your wisdom teeth has a lot of benefits, not the least of which is a higher quality of life. The experienced team at Canyon Dental in Clarkston, ID is always happy to answer questions regarding this common procedure.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Before we discuss the many benefits of removing your wisdom teeth, let’s quickly explore what wisdom teeth are and why we have them. Wisdom teeth— also commonly called “third molars”— are typically the last teeth to grow in for humans. These teeth grow in at the back of your gums, behind the molars that grew in during childhood. On average, wisdom teeth begin to appear between the ages of 16 and 25 for most adults, at which point removal is often recommended. About 85% of people would greatly benefit from wisdom teeth removal.
Interestingly, wisdom teeth— like the appendix— are a leftover adaptation from our earliest ancestors. These ancestors had larger jaws and ate a diet that was difficult to chew (like uncooked meat, plant roots, etc.) so wisdom teeth were a great advantage for them. Although our jaws have evolved to be smaller and our diets are easier to chew, evolution hasn’t caught up with the times. Consequently, wisdom teeth usually cause more problems for us and need to be removed.
What Are the Benefits of Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Many people dread having their wisdom teeth removed, but the reality is that the procedure isn’t that bad. We understand that dental surgery is a scary concept for many people, but for this procedure patients usually leave the dental office with no memory whatsoever of the surgery itself. The team at Canyon Dental is skilled and experienced in wisdom teeth extraction procedures and will go above and beyond to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible, so there’s really no need to worry!
For the vast majority of people, failing to remove your wisdom teeth can cause a variety of painful and annoying problems— some of which affect areas other than the mouth. These problems are typically far worse than the recovery from the wisdom teeth removal procedure. Here are some of the biggest benefits of wisdom teeth removal.
1. Prevents Overcrowding
Because your wisdom teeth don’t appear until your late teens to early twenties, your other teeth have already settled in place by the time your wisdom teeth appear on the scene. The sudden appearance of these wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding which can move your other teeth out of alignment. This is particularly problematic and frustrating if you spent years investing time and money in expensive orthodontic treatments like braces. Leaving your wisdom teeth in can negate all of that hard work, leaving you with a crooked smile.
2. Reduce Infections and Inflammation
Overcrowded teeth can cause partial impactions, which in turn can lead to the inflammation of your gums. Left untreated, this can cause gum disease which is painful and also puts you at higher risk for other health issues. Additionally, leaving your wisdom teeth in places also increases your risk of teeth decay. All of these issues are common culprits for bone loss and gum recession and can be painful and expensive in years to come.
3. Prevent Tumors and Cysts in the Jaw
When wisdom teeth grow into a mouth that doesn’t have enough room for them, they can quickly become partially or fully impacted. This can cause painful cysts or tumors along the jawbone. Often, this issue requires treatment from a TMJ specialist which is expensive, time-intensive, and painful.
4. Reduce Headaches and Orofacial Pain
Overcrowding of the teeth can cause a lot of pain in your jaw, face, and head. Not only is it uncomfortable to have overcrowded teeth, but it can also lead to decay and gum inflammation, all of which can become exacerbated and lead to more serious infections and other painful issues that can be excruciating.
5. Keep Your Mouth Cleaner
Wisdom teeth are typically positioned in such a way that they are incredibly difficult to clean. In fact, their positioning makes cleaning them completely very difficult for most people. Only partially cleaning them causes the bacteria levels in your mouth to rise and can cause decay and other dental issues that are painful and expensive to treat.
How To Decide If Wisdom Teeth Removal Is Right for You
If your wisdom teeth have recently come in or are about to come in, you should consider having them removed. Naturally, there are a lot of considerations involved with making this decision. The best way to make sure you make the right decision for your health is by consulting with your dentist about what’s right for you. The Canyon Dental team is always happy to answer any questions you might have, and Dr. Joe Schmidt will explain the intricacies of the procedure to make sure you can make an informed decision.
The best course of action is often to remove your wisdom teeth soon after they appear. This limits the amount of time that they have to cause problems in your mouth and with your teeth alignment. Make sure you follow all of the post-procedure care instructions to avoid unnecessary complications and ensure that your healing is as quick and easy as possible. You should expect to be out of commission for a few days following the procedure, but the recovery is typically very easy (and involves a lot of ice cream!). Patients are usually clear to resume eating all foods after 3-4 weeks following a wisdom teeth extraction, but you should always consult your care provider for their recommendations.
Contact your Lewiston Clarkston dentist today for more information!