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Things You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth

Updated on April 28, 2016

Now I can write about it. It has been weeks of pain thanks to my wisdom tooth, which I honestly can’t believe why they’d call it that if the dentist would remove it anyway. If it’s wisdom, why take it away from me, right? Kidding aside, thanks to the pain I experienced (yes, there’s silver lining to all of these) I learned more about this tooth.

There are many interesting facts about wisdom teeth, one is that these teeth are actually a third set of molars that grow in the back of the mouth. While some people wouldn’t need to remove them, most of us would have it removed because of the unbearable pain.

So why are they called as such? It’s because they appear between the ages of 17 and 25 which is often referred to as the age of wisdom.

Now before I proceed with this article, here’s a nifty infographic that’s all about wisdom teeth:

Aside from the pain, there are other reasons why a dentist would recommend removing a wisdom tooth.

  1. It can grow in a very unnatural angle. It may result to it pressing against your other normal teeth.
  2. It’s impacted meaning it is trapped in your gums or jawbone which usually results to pain. This is most common reason why people have their wisdom teeth removed.
  3. A dentist will remove it because you have gum disease or cavities. It is also very difficult to clean since it is located in the back of your mouth, your toothbrush will not be able to reach it.
  4. Lastly, it may be just because you don’t have enough space for your wisdom tooth. Its growth will only cause you pain or irregularity in your other teeth’s growth.

The surgery wasn’t really that painful as the kind doctor made sure I was really numb before he went through with the procedure. There are three types of anesthesia commonly used. One is local which is usually a shot of Novocaine. Second is through IV sedation which is administered through the veins in your arm. Last is general anesthesia which will put you to sleep.

I was given the latter probably because of my extreme fear of the procedure. So I woke up maybe an hour after the surgery and I was really drowsy, but experiencing no pain. For the next 4 or 5 days there was swelling in my mouth and some discomfort which was to be expected as the dentist told me.

To help me with the recovery, here are some of the things I did:

  1. Drink lots of liquids. I especially preferred water but I also enjoyed some fresh fruit juices. I suggest you stay away from cola drinks and other sugary beverages.
  2. For the first couple of days, the swelling was really noticeable so I used an ice pack which really helped.
  3. My food choices were limited to soft food like soup and pasta. It’s a good thing my mom make tasty soups.
  4. Every now and then I exercise my mouth by slowly opening and closing it.
  5. Of course, I regularly took the medications prescribed by my dentist. This one is really important and you should follow to the letter.

To pull or not to pull, that is the question.

Again, not everybody needs to have his or her wisdom tooth removed but it is best that you consult your dentist to help you make the right decision. And in case you decide to keep it, just make sure that you give it extra care by thoroughly cleaning your teeth, especially always trying your best to reach at the back of your mouth when you’re brushing.

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    • tebo profile image

      tebo 2 years ago from New Zealand

      I've often wondered why we have wisdom teeth when so many people have to have them removed. Thanks for clearing that up for me. My wisdom teeth never gave me any trouble, must have a big mouth to house them all! However I did have one extracted in my early thirties as I had an abcess which was rather painful. Nice hub.

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