Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the big teeth in the very back of your mouth that grow in during your late teens or early twenties. Not everyone gets wisdom teeth, but most people will get four in total. Sometimes wisdom teeth grow in straight, but more often than not, they cause problems. A dentist might recommend removing wisdom teeth if they are decayed, or are causing pain, infection, or crowding. Recovery from wisdom teeth extraction usually takes about 4 to 7 days. If the tooth is under the gum, then healing may take longer. Ask your dentist if wisdom teeth removal is something you or your teenager should have done. It is best to do so sooner rather than later, before any problems arise.

  • How do I know if I have wisdom teeth?

    If your wisdom teeth have already grown in, they will be at the very back of your mouth, behind your second molars. You can count your teeth, and if you have more than 28, you probably have at least one wisdom tooth. If your wisdom teeth have not yet grown in, it means they are still under the gum inside the jaw bone. In order to see these wisdom teeth, your dentist will need to perform an X-ray.

  • Can you get your wisdom teeth removed after they grow in?

    Yes, and the good news is that wisdom teeth that have completely grown in are much easier to remove than ones that are still under the gum.

  • What are common reasons to have a wisdom tooth removed?

    • The tooth is decayed or broken
    • You don’t have enough room in your mouth
    • The tooth is growing in at the wrong angle
    • The tooth is trapped, and only the tip has pushed through the gum
    • A fluid-filled sac, called a cyst, has formed around the tooth
  • My wisdom teeth have already grown in. Do I still need to have them removed?

    Only your dentist can tell you if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth can help in chewing, so it is good to keep them if you can. But usually, they cause problems and should be removed. Because wisdom teeth are so hard to clean, they get cavities easily. So, even if your wisdom teeth have grown in straight, you may need them taken out if they are decayed or broken.

  • My wisdom tooth has started to grow in, but I have a lot of pain in the gums around it. What do I do?

    When the tip of the wisdom tooth pushes through the gums, it creates pockets of space that can trap food and cause infection. The pain might be a sign of infection. Talk to your dentist as soon as possible.

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