Many people will go through their lives and never once have any reason to think about their wisdom teeth. In fact, many people are not even aware that they exist. On the other hand, there are those whose wisdom teeth are a source of pain, oral diseases, infections, and countless visits to their dentist.

The mystery as to why certain people have issues with wisdom teeth and others do not, might never be solved, but there is plenty known about the specific issues that wisdom teeth can create. Whether you are just curious to find out more about wisdom teeth or believe you may have a problem,  read on, and we will outline some of the salient facts about wisdom teeth including why they may need to be extracted.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

The basics about wisdom start with the fact that you have four of them. Each one is located at the end of each row of your teeth meaning you have one on both the left and right of your top row of teeth and one on both the left and right of your bottom row.

They are molar teeth and are designated your third molars. They are also the last set of teeth that breakthrough in adults, and usually appear when you are aged between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five. It is also possible that they appear when you are older, and it is also the case that your wisdom teeth may never appear at all.

For most people, wisdom teeth cause them no problems and play a significant role in the process of chewing food. Being molars, your wisdom teeth are mostly used to tear, grind and crush food due to the larger flat surfaces they have.

What Are The Problems That Wisdom Can Create

Apart from being at risk of the same common dental problems that affect other teeth such as cavities and tooth decay, wisdom teeth can also create additional issues. One is them coming through your gum at the wrong angle and thus pressing against adjacent teeth which can be painful and also risks loosen those other teeth.

The most common issue with wisdom teeth is a situation where it does not erupt through the gum tissue due to a condition called impacted wisdom tooth. This is a situation where, as it develops, a wisdom tooth does not grow upwards but rather to the side. This is how they can be trapped within your jawbone or your gums.

Apart from the obvious pain this can create, it can also create infections, cause gum disease, damage surrounding teeth and your jawbone, cause cysts, and otherwise be detrimental to your oral health. As you can imagine, with all those undesirable symptoms, the need to extract a wisdom tooth is often pressing.

What Happens If Your Wisdom Tooth Needs To Be Extracted?

Here are some of the salient facts about wisdom tooth extraction

  • Can be done using either local anaesthesia, general anaesthesia, or sedation
  • Surgery is considered an outpatient procedure so most patients can go home the same day
  • Procedure involves
  • Cutting the gum
  • Removing any bone which is blocking the wisdom tooth
  • Splitting wisdom tooth to make it easier to remove
  • Removing wisdom tooth
  • Removing any additional tissue or debris
  • Stitching the wound

After the procedure, a patient may experience bleeding, swelling, bruising, and soreness but otherwise recovery is normally without any unwanted complications.