Wisdom Teeth 101 — When Do They Come In? Should You Remove Them?
If you live in Chicago and your wisdom teeth are causing you issues, visit Arbor View Surgery for wisdom tooth extractions. Wisdom teeth are actually molars, and they develop last. While some people get them in their teenage years, others may never develop them.
If your wisdom teeth are starting to develop or have developed recently, you should visit your dentist. It’s better to make sure your teeth are growing correctly and to fix any problems before they get worse. Additionally, if one of your wisdom teeth starts causing you problems down the road, visit a dentist as soon as possible. You should stay informed about which issues wisdom teeth can cause in order to notice any potential problems promptly. Here’s everything you should know about wisdom teeth, when and how they grow, and when you should remove them.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, and they can be quite useful if they develop well. They are called wisdom teeth because they are the last set of teeth to develop and grow out, so you’ll supposedly be wiser by the time they appear. Just like other molars, they are flat and located in the back of the mouth. Adults get three sets of molar teeth, and their function is to grind food down while chewing.
Although wisdom teeth still can be useful, many anthropologists think that humans have evolved past the need for them, which is why many people never develop them. Still, over half of the world’s population does get at least one wisdom tooth at some point in life.
If wisdom teeth don’t develop correctly, or if you don’t have enough room for them in your mouth, you will probably need to remove them. Doing so promptly will ensure an easier recovery and fewer tooth issues down the road.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?
All of the teeth a person will have later in life are already present at birth. They’re located in the skull and the jaw bone. However, the pace they grow out at differs from person to person. The first set of teeth we have as kids, baby teeth, grow out during the first two to three years of your life. They start falling out during the fifth and sixth year of your life and are gradually replaced by adult teeth.
As already mentioned, there are three sets of molars, and they grow out at different points in your life. The first set becomes visible at six years old, and the second set grows out at about twelve. However, the third set, wisdom teeth, don’t grow out until late adolescence or early twenties. Most of the time, they become visible by the time you’re 21. However, sometimes they grow out later in life or don’t grow out at all.
How Can I Know If I Have Wisdom Teeth?
If your wisdom teeth have not come in yet, you will likely have an unoccupied space for them in the back of your mouth. However, if you have a wider jaw, you may have a wisdom tooth and still have some space left behind it.
The best way to make sure your teeth have developed properly is to take an X-ray of them. Based on that, your dentist will be able to see whether your teeth are placed correctly. If they notice any problems with the way your wisdom teeth developed, they will likely suggest an extraction.
If you need to remove a wisdom tooth, you should do so as soon as you can. The removal is easier to perform before the tooth has fully developed, and the recovery is easier for younger people.
Do You Need a Wisdom Tooth Removal?
There are several issues wisdom teeth can cause. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, visit your dentist, as your wisdom teeth could be the cause of them:
- damage to the nearby teeth
- jaw pain
- sinus issues
- swollen gums
- improper tooth alignment
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Process
The tooth extraction process depends on the position of the tooth and how developed the tooth is. Tooth extractions are easier to perform on teeth that haven’t developed fully, as the bone is less dense and the roots aren’t as strong. Therefore, the wisdom tooth extraction process will be less complicated, and it will require less recovery time if you do it right after the tooth comes in.
If the tooth has fully come in, the extraction process is simple. Your dentist will pull the tooth out under local anesthesia, just like any other tooth. However, if the tooth has only partially erupted through the gum, the procedure will be more complicated. Since the tooth is partially embedded underneath the gums, your dentist will have to make an incision and remove the tooth in small sections. If you want to learn more about wisdom tooth removal, follow this link to see what happens during the extraction process.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery
Your recovery after wisdom tooth removal will depend on how difficult the extraction was. Here’s what to expect after a wisdom tooth extraction:
Keep in mind that some bleeding will occur a few hours after the extraction. Your dentist will likely place a sterile gauze on the area where they extracted the tooth. However, you should have some extra gauze at home, in case you need to change it. Alternatively, you can use a moistened tea bag if you don’t have any gauze. Do not spit or rinse the blood, as it will further irritate the area.
- Facial Swelling
Your face will likely swell following the tooth extraction. The swelling can last for 2–3 days, or a little longer if the extraction was difficult. Treat the area with ice during the first 24 hours. After the first day, switch to a warm, moist towel. Keep it on the swollen area for about 20 minutes, then wait for 20 minutes before repeating the process.
Wisdom teeth can cause many problems. If you need a wisdom tooth extraction, make sure you choose a skilled dentist or oral surgeon that you can trust. Additionally, make sure to avoid solid foods that may irritate the area, make sure you take your antibiotics, and take ibuprofen to manage the pain.