Does the name imply that wisdom teeth will make one smarter? What if you have them removed? Are you suddenly less smart?
Why are they called Wisdom Teeth?
They are called wisdom teeth because they show up in the mouth at about age 17-21. Located at the very back of the mouth there are two on top and two on the bottom. If the front teeth are number one then counting back, the wisdom teeth are number 8 for a complete set of 32 teeth in adults.
Reason for Wisdom Teeth Removal
We frequently hear of individuals having their wisdom teeth removed. There are a number of reasons for this. Often done for preventive reasons following orthodontia. (Braces) Some believe that erupting wisdom teeth can disrupt the results of braces or otherwise put pressure on the remaining teeth causing crowding. For many individuals, there is insufficient space for wisdom teeth to properly erupt. A tooth will come part way our and then recede, causing painful irritation to the gums often lasting several days. if this occurs frequently it is usually advisable to remove the offending tooth. Other issues involve damage to adjacent teeth and difficulty accessing an area so far back to keep properly cleaned.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Removal of wisdom teeth can be fairly simple to the other extreme involving a surgical approach where an incision is made in the gums and hone removed to access the tooth. In some cases where the procedure is expected to be more complicated you may be referred to an oral surgery specialist for treatment. You will have the option of being asleep (general anesthetic) IV sedation in which you are not asleep but sedated to the point of total relaxation and finally local freezing. For cases expected to be difficult, general anaetshesia is recommended. In the case and with IV sedation you will need to be accompanied by someone who can look after you and drive the car.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery
Some bleeding can be expected the first day with pain and swelling. You will be given gauze packs which you will be instructed to bite on to control bleeding. It can also be helpful to moisten and bite on to a tea bag in cases of persistent bleeding. In more involved cases you will be put on antibiotics for a few days to prevent infection. You will also be given pain medication which is to be taken when needed to control any post-surgical pain. There is little change of bruising occurring. It is a good idea to gently rinse with salt water 3 or 4 times per day for the first few days taking care to not irritate the extraction site.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Pain
Pain should be gone in a day or two. Persistent pain may be an indication of improper healing, a condition called “dry socket”. If you suspect his to be happening you must contact your doctor who will flush the area and place medicated packing to aid proper healing. Following this, the pain will generally subside almost immediately. The material used in treating a dry socket will dissolve and so does not need to be removed.
There are some other incidents post surgery where it is recommended you call your doctor. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing or swallowing, if bleeding persists after a day or two, if swelling lasts more than a few days, if you have a fever, if you notice numbness, pus or foul odors.
Finally, once everything has had a chance to heal you will be delighted at the decision to remove the wisdom teeth and you will never ever wish you had them back.