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Facts about wisdom teeth extraction

Nearly 85% of all Americans will have their wisdom teeth removed during their lifetime–but for such a common procedure, some people don’t know important facts about wisdom teeth extraction.

Untreated wisdom teeth can lead to oral health concerns

While wisdom teeth do not always cause complications, patients whose third molars cannot emerge correctly can experience damage to adjacent teeth and soft tissues, including the gums. These problems can lead to discomfort and additional dental issues.

Wisdom teeth issues are often asymptomatic

A wisdom tooth that is impacted below the surface of your gums may not be causing discomfort but could be pushing on the adjacent tooth and creating damage. This is why patients typically have their wisdom teeth x-rayed as teenagers as a preventative measure. This allows a dentist or oral surgeon to see how many wisdom teeth are present and if sufficient space is available in the jawbone for another row of molars to grow in.

Wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean

Even patients who have enough room in their mouth for a third row of molars may experience higher than usual instances of cavities or other oral health concerns with their wisdom teeth. This is because wisdom teeth are located far at the back of the mouth, making them more difficult to brush and floss properly. This can lead to the buildup of tartar or plaque and the potential for food particles to get stuck between the teeth and cause decay.

Preventative wisdom tooth extraction is often recommended

Because most patients with wisdom teeth will eventually require extraction, many patients choose to have them removed earlier in life when the surgery will likely be simpler and recovery time is faster. Waiting until wisdom teeth become impacted or are causing problems can increase the complexity of the procedure.

Wisdom teeth surgery can be easily managed

Wisdom teet is the most common oral surgery and nothing to be worried about. Postop recovery generally requires little more than a few days of rest, over-the-counter medication and special care when eating or cleaning your mouth. To learn more about wisdom teeth removal, speak to your dentist or oral surgeon.

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