What Are Wisdom Teeth?

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

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Wisdom teeth is the common name for the four third molars that emerge in adulthood, typically between the ages of 17 and 21. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, but those that do sometimes experience problems when they develop. The reason is thought to be that our ancient ancestors had larger jaws. Since modern humans have smaller jaws, wisdom teeth do not have as much room in the mouth. When needing an emergency dentist Manassas residents are sometimes having problems with painful wisdom teeth.
If a person has problems with their wisdom teeth, they may need to be extracted. Sometimes, a patient will go ahead and have their wisdom teeth extracted as a preventative measure, even though they are not currently having any problems.

Do wisdom teeth always need to be extracted?

No. If a wisdom teeth cleanly erupt through the gum tissue without causing problems with an adjacent tooth, it can remain in the mouth if the patient can brush and floss normally. However, wisdom teeth can change a great deal in early adulthood, so it’s important that they are regularly examined to determine if treatment is needed.

In other cases, a wisdom teeth may be causing pain, but an extraction can be avoided by modifying surrounding gum tissue or changing oral hygiene habits. For example, a patient may have pain because they are biting down on a flap of gum tissue covering a wisdom tooth. After removal of this gum tissue, they can bite down without any problems.

In other cases, a patient may find that a change in the angle of their brushing, as well as flossing more often, around a wisdom tooth may prevent problems with gum tissue and prevent them from needing an extraction.
Wisdom teeth typically need extraction if one or more of them has erupted partially through gum tissue, leading to an infection or inflammation. This is what is known as a partially impacted wisdom tooth.

Some signs of a problem wisdom tooth that may need extraction are:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Swollen, red gums around a wisdom tooth
  • Foul taste or odor
  • Pain when biting with back teeth

Sometimes, an infection caused by a problem wisdom tooth will lead to an infection that causes gum tissue swelling, or even an ear infection or sinus infection leading to pain radiating to teeth. So if you suspect an infection, it is important to get it checked out.

How would you extract one or more of my wisdom teeth?

First, you will be administered local anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Your dentist or surgeon will then perform a minor surgery to remove bone and tissue around the tooth so that it can be extracted cleanly from its socket.

You may require a few stitches for closing the surgical site. The stitches can be removed by your dentist or surgeon after a specific amount of time, or you may receive dissolvable stitches that do not need removal.

Learn More

Contact Liberia Dental Care to learn more about wisdom teeth and maintaining your oral health. New patients are welcome! Call 703-260-1200 or request an appointment online here.

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