Most adults have an average of 32 teeth that are fully developed by the time they are in their late teenage years, or early twenties. There are typically 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom of our mouth. These teeth are an important part to the mouth and can provide a huge impact on daily life when they both function and do not function properly. Many individuals will experience problems with their teeth that do not come in perfectly aligned. More often than not teeth enter through the gums and are misaligned which can require removal. Each tooth has a specific function which this can impact. For example, the teeth that are utilized for biting and grasping food are in the front of the mouth and are referred to as incisors, canine, and bicuspid. The teeth located at the back of the mouth are referred to as molars, and are utilized for grinding food and making us able to swallow it in small pieces.
What are wisdom teeth?
Some individuals are born with more teeth than others. This can cause problems of crowding when too many are attempting to fit in the mouth. These additional teeth that are attempting to fit are described as wisdom teeth. These four teeth are located on the third molars which are the final and last set to grow in. Most third molars develop when an individual is in their teenage years and early twenties. Due to the other teeth in the mouth already being developed many times the wisdom teeth do not fit properly. This can cause them to be misaligned or impacted which requires them to be extracted.
Why should I remove my wisdom teeth?
When the teeth are misaligned they can have various positions. No individual’s teeth will be exactly the same, and the way that the wisdom teeth develop is different for each individual. It is possible for the teeth to develop healthy and correctly for some. Most wisdom teeth are positioned at a horizontal angle, or towards or away from the second molars. These unhealthy angles can impact the nerves in the gums, the jawbone, or other teeth located nearby. Some wisdom teeth become partially trapped in the bone as they attempt to emerge. When this occurs the wisdom teeth are said to be impacted. Being impacted allows them to become enclosed in the tissue and only become partially visible. This can create many issues and the opening will let bacteria from around the tooth enter the gums and jawbone. An infection can occur which creates pain, jaw stiffness, swelling, and many other possible illnesses from the infection. Tumors and cysts can also occur around the impacted wisdom teeth. This can cause the jawbone to be destroyed and infected which can cause further issues for the jaw and other surrounding teeth.
The wisdom teeth that are visible through the gums are also more prone to become decayed and develop gum disease because of their location. Since wisdom teeth are located on the third molar they can be difficult to reach in the back of the mouth. This can create challenges when brushing and flossing.
It is often highly recommended that wisdom teeth are removed in their very early stages to avoid the many problems that can occur. The risks of the surgery are decreased when they are removed at an early stage and it can prevent other teeth from being negatively affected. This is very important when other orthodontic measures such as braces have already been put in place on the other teeth. The time and money spent to straighten other teeth in the mouth could possibly be ruined without the early removal of the wisdom teeth.
Why do I need an oral examination?
Many patients will realize when wisdom teeth begin to develop because of the pain that they can cause. For those who do not feel or notice them developing they are often spotted during routine trips to the dentist for cleanings. At this point a consultation should be made with a specialist that can complete an oral examination. Dr. Jamali and his staff can provide you an oral examination which includes x-rays of the mouth. He will be able to examine the wisdom teeth as well as their position to provide a prediction of whether the wisdom teeth will provide further problems in the mouth. This early examination and predictions that can be made can greatly influence a positive outcome for the patient’s future.
The removal and healing process
Dr. Jamali will schedule a consultation to discuss the extraction of the wisdom teeth and the process that it entails. This consultation will also involve a discussion regarding what method of anesthesia is best for the patient. Typically, the options utilized include local or general anesthesia, or laughing gas. Possible complications and risks of the extraction will also be discussed. The teeth will be removed from the third molars and the gum is sutured typically with dissolving stitches. The mouth will be packed with gauze to prevent biting in the rear of the mouth, and to control the bleeding. Once the patient has regained conscious from the anesthesia care instructions will be provided. Soft foods will eventually be recommended as well as icing the jaw bone. Pain medications can be provided to assist in comfort levels, as well as an antibiotic to prevent infections in the open wounds.
Dr. Jamali and his staff will take great care of you and your new teeth! If you think it is time for a consultation to examine your wisdom teeth call him today at 212-480-2777. He will provide you with an informative oral examination that can greatly impact your oral heath!