Teenage Tooth Drama: Wisdom Teeth
When you reach the age of 16, your family dentist will probably want to discuss your wisdom teeth. These final four permanent teeth, also called third molars, arrive much later than your others. They are located behind your molars in the very back of your mouth at the top and bottom of your jaw on each side. Some people’s wisdom teeth arrive with no problems and they function the same as other teeth. Unfortunately, many people have impacted wisdom teeth that are unable to emerge from beneath the gum tissue. When this happens, they must be surgically extracted.
Impaction and Wisdom Teeth Pain
Because there isn’t much room left in your mouth for them to grow in, wisdom teeth can become trapped inside your jaw in a variety of positions. Some are easier to remove than others. A few lucky people never develop third molars. If you’re one of them, your family dentist will let you know. When wisdom teeth are impacted, they may cause pain, swelling, and soreness. A simple x-ray can reveal if you have an impacted tooth that needs to be extracted. Getting your wisdom teeth taken out early in life makes the process easier. When you’re older, the roots are better formed, and the bone surrounding your teeth is denser. Older nerve tissues don’t heal as easily either, so the wisdom teeth extraction process for adults can be more painful and complicated.
What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Your wisdom teeth will be extracted by a general dentist or an oral surgeon. The procedure only lasts a few hours, but recovery may take up to two weeks. You can expect some degree of pain and swelling after the surgery, but your family dentist or oral surgeon will provide medication to ease your symptoms. You will probably have to miss a few days of school, and you’ll need to eat a soft diet for a few days while your mouth heals. Most extractions go smoothly, and you’ll be back to your old self soon.
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