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Is Wisdom Teeth Extraction Always Necessary?

Dental Patient and Dentist

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and they usually being to show up in the late teens or early twenties. The way in which they erupt varies from person to person. Some individuals are fortunate enough to have their wisdom teeth come in without a problem. If the jaw is large enough and there is adequate space, they can erupt with no problems. Many people are not this fortunate, and they experience problems and need to have them extracted.

Impaction

Wisdom teeth are notorious for being impacted. As they begin to erupt, they may push on the adjacent tooth. These teeth often come in crooked or sideways. When they push against the adjacent molars, the result is usually swelling and pain. Over-the-counter pain meds can help, but ultimately, the teeth will need to be extracted.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The pain and swelling caused by an impaction calls for a visit to the dentist. Sometimes a wisdom tooth will only partially erupt. This leaves a flap of gum tissue over the chewing surface of the tooth. This piece of tissue can get irritated and it causes a food trap to develop. When food debris collects under this flap of gum, bacteria buildup can cause gum disease and decay in the tooth.

Some individuals choose to have all four wisdom teeth removed at the same time. While this is efficient, the healing process usually takes three to four days or longer, if a tooth was impacted or at an awkward angle. The socket area also needs to heal, and this can take a few months. It is important to follow the aftercare protocol as recommended by the dentist, because infection in the socket is a possibility.

When Extraction is Not Necessary

Some individuals are fortunate enough not to need their wisdom teeth extracted. Extraction may not be needed if the jaw is large enough to accommodate the teeth. Sometimes the second molar is missing and the wisdom tooth can erupt without a problem.

Even though you may not have pain with your wisdom teeth, your dentist may suggest they be removed. These teeth are difficult to keep clean and they could cause problems or become painful in the future.

A thorough examination and diagnostic x-rays can determine what approach should be taken. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from your wisdom teeth, call Gwinnet Family Dental Care and make an appointment with one of our dentists.

Posted on behalf of Gwinnett Family Dental Care

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