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Wisdom Teeth - Do I Need Mine Removed?


By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth - 16 teeth on top and 16 teeth on the bottom

. Each tooth in your mouth has a specific function and name. Your front teeth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces while the back teeth, or molars, are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing. The average mouth can only hold 28 teeth, as it can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that can only hold 28 teeth. These 4 teeth are your third molars, also known as wisdom teeth. Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth out, but many will. Your dentist in Hollywood, FL can help you determine if wisdom teeth removal is necessary.

Why Should I Remove my Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not need to be removed. However, this does not always happen. Extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. Some molars will grow in sideways, partially emerge from the gum and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully.

Poorly positioned impacted wisdom teeth can cause you an array of problems and complications. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness and illness. The pressure from erupting teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is often recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved.

Recovery Time

Post operative care after the removal of impacted teeth is important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be significantly minimized if proper instructions are followed carefully. Immediately following surgery, follow these guidelines:

*The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.

*Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.

*Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.

*Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.

*Place ice packs to the sides of your face where the surgery was performed to help reduce swelling that may occur.

If you experience pain, contact your Hallendale dentist immediately. Your dentist will examine your teeth to determine if you have wisdom teeth, and to see if you need them removed. Remember, not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed, but with proper consultation your dentist can determine if you need to have them removed.

by: Gen Wright


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