Why Are Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

Wisdom tooth removal is common in young adults ages 18-21, or at any age, if the wisdom teeth begin to cause dental problems. Why do dentists recommend some people have their wisdom teeth removed, while others keep these molars?

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are extra molars found in the back of the mouth.  Historically, humans relied on their wisdom to help break down the fibrous material in the raw foods they ate. The discovery of fire introduced the means by which humans cooked and softened their food.  Wisdom teeth became less essential. Nevertheless, wisdom teeth are still part of our genetic makeup.

Generally, the mere presence of wisdom teeth does not mean they will need to be removed. Many people have a full set (4) of wisdom teeth without any dental issues. When wisdom teeth become infected, misaligned or the patient’s mouth does not have the room for them to erupt, removal may be necessary.

When should wisdom teeth be removed?

If your wisdom teeth have not caused any dental issues, you may never need to have them extracted. Your dentist at Fioritto Family Dental will take x-rays of your mouth and evaluate how your wisdom teeth are positioned, as well as how much room they have to erupt. If a tooth is misaligned or your jaw is too small to accommodate the additional teeth, you may need to have them removed—even if they’re not currently causing any problems.

When patients show signs of infection or impaction, however, your dentist will likely act quickly. Infection typically manifests as pain, swollen gums, bad breath which persists even after brushing, swollen lymph nodes and difficulty chewing. If you have signs of infection, it is very important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Finally, you may choose to have your wisdom teeth extracted as a preventative measure. Wisdom teeth can reposition themselves in your jaw and cause crowding or misalignment. Many patients choose to have these extra teeth removed as a young adult, so they don’t cause issues later in life.

Wisdom teeth extraction

Wisdom teeth extraction is accomplished in just a single dental visit, with minimal recovery time. To prepare for the removal of your wisdom teeth, it is important to follow your Fioritto dentist’s oral hygiene instructions to the letter, and stock up on soft foods to eat during your recovery period. Avoid extremely cold, hot, hard or crunchy foods in the first few days after your wisdom teeth have been removed. Instead, opt for foods which do not require significant chewing, such soup, soft vegetables, yogurt and smoothies.

If you have other concerns about wisdom teeth removal, be sure to talk to us at Fioritto Family Dental. We work with all of our patients to ensure your experience is comfortable and stress-free as possible. Schedule an appointment today so our dental team can assess the condition of your wisdom teeth.  If there is no need to remove your wisdom teeth, we will monitor them over time, to ensure they won’t cause issues in the future.

To learn more about wisdom teeth removal and your oral health, schedule an appointment with Fioritto Family Dental today!