The Truth About Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth

The third molars at the back of your mouth are the wisdom teeth. They’re called wisdom teeth because they generally erupt later than the others, between the ages of 17 and 25. And the truth is – we don’t need them!

Way back before agriculture and animal domestication, we used our teeth to chomp down on some pretty serious stuff. But those days are behind us (we hope), and they are a relic of our past. Most people have a maximum of four wisdom teeth – two on the bottom, and two on top. Not everyone has them, but it is possible to have more than four.

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

When these molars don’t fully emerge from the gum or appear misaligned, we call them ‘impacted’. This can happen for a number of reasons including childhood diseases, or a mismatch between the size of your jaw and teeth. In many cases, the mouth is too crowded for third molars to develop normally so they become impacted.

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Have To Be Removed?

While this extraction is one of the most common oral surgeries in Canada, if your wisdom teeth have completely grown in, are healthy and in correct biting position with their opposing teeth, and are easy for your hygienist to clean, they may be able to stay right where they are; no procedure necessary!

However, impacted wisdom teeth can create several serious conditions including:

  • infection,
  • jawbone and teeth damage
  • cyst growth
  • gum disease
  • tumours and severe pain

What Happens During The Extraction?

Your dentist may recommend local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia for a wisdom tooth removal and extraction procedure.

After removal, your dentist will clean the site. Stitches may be inserted to promote the most efficient healing, and gauze will be added to aid in the development of a blood clot and to control bleeding.

What Is The Recovery Time?

Once the freezing and anesthesia wears off it is normal to feel some pain for the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery. Some soreness or discomfort may linger for 3 to 5 days however the amount of discomfort is different from person to person.

There aren’t always visible signs that wisdom teeth require extraction, so it’s important to make sure your dentist is up-to-date on all dental examinations and x-rays.

Schedule a dental exam with one of our qualified dentists in Brampton by calling 905-791-3867 or book an appointment online. You’ll be glad you did!

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