The Case For Wisdom Teeth Removal

Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to erupt in the very back of the mouth, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. They are called wisdom teeth because they usually appear at a time when a person is more mature or wiser than when their other teeth first appeared. Most people will have four wisdom teeth, while other groups may have fewer or even none. When there are less than four, they may be located exclusively on the top, bottom, or a combination of top and bottom gums.

In this blog post, we will discuss what wisdom teeth are, why we have them, problems that can occur with them, and when to have wisdom teeth removed. We will also outline the entire removal procedure and provide recommendations on how to find the right dentist to perform this procedure. Additionally, we will provide examples of the complications that arise when they are not removed.

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth were once useful to our ancient ancestors, who needed them to help chew tough, raw foods. Our diets have evolved over time, and we no longer need these teeth to survive. As a result, people’s jaws have become smaller, and there is often not enough room in our mouths to accommodate these unneeded teeth.

Problems That Can Occur with Wisdom Teeth

Often, patients do not experience any issues with their wisdom teeth, while others may develop problems as they begin to grow. These problems may include impaction, infection, crowding, and damage to surrounding teeth. These issues are defined in greater detail below.

When to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. Frequently, they come in normally and do not cause any problems. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed:

  • Pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth
  • Swelling or redness around the gums
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Crowding of other teeth
  • Decay or damage to surrounding teeth

If you experience any of these above symptoms, you should consult with your dentist or the referred oral surgeon to determine if your wisdom teeth need to be removed.

The Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure

Wisdom teeth removal is typically performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist with advanced training in oral surgery. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia, which will numb the area around the teeth to be removed. A patient may be given sedation to help them relax during the procedure.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the dentist or surgeon will make an incision in the gums to access the wisdom teeth. They will then remove the teeth and clean the area to ensure that there is no debris or infection left behind. Occasionally, the dentist or surgeon may need to remove specific bone material surrounding the tooth or divide the tooth into sections to help in removal.

After the teeth have been removed, there may be dissolvable stitches placed and the dentist or surgeon will place gauze over the incision site to help stop any bleeding. Pain medication or antibiotics will be prescribed to help manage any discomfort or prevent infection from occurring.

Recovery time from this surgery can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and the individual’s healing process. However, most people can expect to return to almost normal activities within a few days to a week after the procedure.

Finding the Right Removal Expert

When it comes to finding the right dentist to perform your wisdom teeth removal procedure, look for a dentist or oral surgeon with experience performing wisdom teeth extractions and a good history of patient satisfaction. Your family dentist will know the right oral surgeon to refer you to if removal has complications to it.

Complications of Not Removing Wisdom Teeth

If you choose not to have your wisdom teeth removed when recommended, you may experience complications. These can include:

  1. Infection: Partially erupted wisdom teeth can create a flap of gum tissue that can trap food and bacteria, leading to infection.
  2. Damage to surrounding teeth: Wisdom teeth can cause damage to nearby teeth by pushing against them or causing decay.
  3. Crowding: If there is not enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth, they can push other teeth out of alignment, causing crowding.
  4. Cysts or tumors: In rare cases, wisdom teeth that are left untreated can develop cysts or tumors, which can cause damage to the surrounding bone and teeth.


While not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, it is important to pay attention to any symptoms or discomfort that you may be experiencing. Regular dental checkups and x-rays will reveal if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. This is one procedure that should be undertaken well in advance of any painful complications.

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