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Wondering About Wisdom Teeth? Eight Things To Know About Extractions

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If you feel behind your furthest molar, you should feel either a pad of skin or your wisdom teeth. Your wisdom teeth may be underneath the gum or they could be partially erupted through the skin. Wondering if they will need to come out?

Eight things to know about getting your wisdom teeth extracted are:

1.       You're not alone. Most people do need to have their wisdom teeth extracted since there is not enough room along the jaw for the teeth to erupt properly, often causing significant dental problems later.

2.       You are not too old. The ideal age for a wisdom tooth extraction is between 18 and 24. This is because it is not quite fully developed and easier to remove with less risk of complications. However, patients much older opt for extraction with success; talk to your dental provider to learn more.

3.       Extraction can reduce chances for cancer. Removing wisdom teeth reduces the risk of epithelial cancer. It is estimated that keeping your wisdom teeth increases your chance by 25%.

4.       Not everyone has wisdom teeth. A small percentage of individuals simply do not have wisdom teeth, either under the jaw or erupted.

5.       Delaying extraction comes with risks. Put-off your extraction surgery and your wisdom teeth can become impacted. This leads to more involved procedures and increased challenges.

6.       Recovery will take a few days. Generally, you should allow for a week's recovery after wisdom teeth extraction surgery. You may feel better faster, but you will need down-time following your procedure.

7.       Plan on a liquid diet. You will heal better and be in less discomfort if you plan on a liquid diet for a few days after surgery. Ice cream and gelatin are okay, too.

8.       Follow the dentist's orders. Do what your dentist says or risk a dry socket. A dry socket is terribly painful and occurs when the site of the extracted tooth isn't healing right. Some things that exacerbate this issue include using straws, smoking, and brushing your teeth before the doctor says that it is okay.

Seeing your dentist regularly should provide ample insight into whether you will need wisdom teeth extraction at some point. Try to prepare and plan for this, scheduling surgery during a time of your choosing, rather than ignore the issue. Get it over and move on; it is not an invasive procedure.

Wondering about your wisdom teeth? Call your dental provider for a comprehensive exam and ask about the need for an extraction. You may be one of the unique few that doesn't have wisdom teeth at all!