Facing wisdom teeth extraction? Well here’s why.
Not everybody runs into problems with their wisdom teeth. But if you're one of the unlucky ones, here’s all you need to know.
If we’re being honest, we don't believe that there’s very much magic or romance attached to the naming of teeth. Molars, pre-molars, canines – the very words don’t exactly get the blood racing, do they?
But wisdom teeth – that’s an entirely different matter. Here, it seems to us, somebody has put a little thought into the naming of these particular gnashers.
And just in case you didn’t know, wisdom teeth are a third set of molars which appear towards the back end of your mouth. They tend to appear between ages 18 and 25 – which gives them the term ‘wisdom teeth’, as it's assumed that we’re starting to wide up at this stage of our lives.
Wisdom teeth don't always result in a major problem, but your dentist will recommended removing them if they become ‘impacted’ – a term we use to denote that they’ve become trapped in your gums or your jawbone. You may also need to opt for wisdom teeth removal if the teeth are coming in at the wrong angle, or are simply too big for your mouth to accommodate.
Why do we have wisdom teeth?
That’s a good question. If you talk to an anthropologist, he’ll probably tell you that they were an evolutionary response to our ancestor’s diet, which would have included rough and coarse foods such as nuts, roots, leaves and meat. Obviously, these needed extra chomping power, which wore down the teeth, resulting in a need for ‘replacement’ teeth at a certain age.
Today’s diet is vastly different, and also, modern cooking methods mean that none of our food is particularly difficult to bite or chew. The fact of the matter, therefore, is that wisdom teeth are pretty much redundant in the modern era.
Does everyone get wisdom teeth?
Thankfully, no. But if you're one of the unlucky patients who get wisdom teeth, you can normally get anything from one to four (although even more can come along in exceptional circumstances).
If you are one of the unlucky ones and have to go down the route of wisdom teeth extraction, you should take a number of important precautions after the procedure:
• Take painkillers if your dentist prescribes them. And take them BEFORE the pain starts – don’t look to be a hero!
• You can minimise potential swelling by keeping an ice bag applied to the outside of your face.
• Rest up as much as possible for the first 24 hours – don't ‘shake’ the operation site through vigorous exercise, for example.
• Be careful when you're rinsing or spitting, You don't want to dislodge the clot that prevents more bleeding.
The more often, the better.
• Stay well clear of the extraction area when you eventually start to brush your teeth.
• When you start eating solids, make sure to keep the food on the opposite side of your mouth.
We’re here to help
If you're experiencing wisdom teeth symptoms, they’re unlikely to go away any time soon, so drop in to MyDental and let us assess the problem for you. Early intervention can save you a world of pain further down the line.
And if you'd like to read more about this topic before coming in to see us, here’s a good article from MedicineNet.com - http://www.medicinenet.com/wisdom_teeth/page2.htm