The basic knowledge most of us have when it comes to wisdom teeth is that we’ve either gotten them removed ourselves, or we know someone who has. And, of course, the old stereotype is that the removal of wisdom teeth is somewhat painful, leaving the patient to a diet of ice cream and pudding for a few days.
While it never feels superb to get a tooth extracted (let alone more than one!), removing wisdom teeth is extremely normal and common. But, most of us don’t usually dig deeper into wondering what wisdom teeth actually are, and why they can be removed, but other teeth regularly aren’t. Let’s take a quick closer look at these teeth, and what they do in our mouths.
Wisdom teeth are on both the top and bottom of the jaw, essentially the back molars within the mouth, so we don’t often pay attention to them until our dentist lets us know we might need them removed. So, why do we remove wisdom teeth in the first place?
Because of where they are located in the mouth, wisdom teeth essentially have to grow in perfectly, or they can cause problems. If a wisdom tooth comes in crooked, or from a bad angle, it can not only shift other teeth around, but it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, essentially pushing against other teeth, which can cause swelling.
Instead of allowing this impaction to happen, most dentists will recommend (usually after looking at x-rays) whether or not an individual's wisdom teeth should be removed before they’ve actually erupted and caused any damage. That’s why it’s become such a popular surgery in the world of dentistry, because everyone has wisdom teeth. It’s just a matter of them actually choosing to ‘show up’ over time. But, don’t fret if you learn you have to get your wisdom teeth removed - just think of it this way: More ice cream than you could ever want!