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February 14, 2018

The Third Molars Revolution: The Truth About Wisdom Teeth

wisdom teeth third molars

Are They Important?
As they say, you don’t have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep. This is true because maintaining good oral health is crucial in keeping all of your teeth intact. Daily care of teeth and gums involves brushing, flossing, and a balanced diet.
In the old days, old age was associated with tooth loss and the wearing of dentures. This is no longer true. All you need is to take good care of your teeth and they can last a lifetime. Permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime so take very good care of them.
Adults have a total of 32 permanent teeth, which is 12 more than the primary teeth. These are comprised of 4 canines, 12 molars with 4 wisdom teeth, 8 incisors, and 8 premolars. As early as the age of 6 years, the first permanent molars are mistaken for temporary teeth.
First permanent molars should be given equally extra good care as they are the key to good occlusion or the bringing of the opposing surface of the teeth into contact. Most people, by the time they reach their teenage years, already have a complete set of teeth.


What are Molars?

Among the 32 permanent teeth, molars are considered one of the most important. Their role is to pound and mince your food while chewing. They are the “most posterior teeth in your mouth”.
There are first, second and third molars. These are defined based on their position or dentition in your mouth. Third molars are commonly known as wisdom teeth and are the most posterior among them. That said, third molars or wisdom teeth appear in your late teens or early 20s – somewhere between 17 and 25 years of age.
In most cases, your wisdom teeth are considered valuable items to your mouth if they are healthy and properly lined up. However, there are certain conditions where third molars are not properly aligned and may require removal.
Misaligned wisdom teeth are those that have been positioned in parallel with the second molars, either angled away or towards them. This causes poor alignment of teeth in your mouth. When this happens, wisdom teeth may only cause more harm than good as they may damage adjacent teeth, nerves, or jawbones.
Third molars can also cause pain and severe problems if they are bounded within the soft tissue of your mouth. It can also be impacted if these third molars just partially erupted or were not fully vented out. Partial eruption shows open spaces which may make your teeth vulnerable to bacteria and infection. These openings allow bacteria to seep through your teeth and trigger infection, which eventually causes pain and discomfort as well as tooth decay.
In these cases, it is highly advisable to remove the wisdom tooth. Compared to common tooth extraction, removing third molars or wisdom teeth involve special procedures.
Before extraction, your dentist may require a panoramic x-ray to check the current condition and position of your teeth. Infection and other underlying dental problems can also be detected so it will be easier for your dentist to assess the kind of procedure to be used.
Generally, tooth extraction requires local anesthesia. However, in the case of the complexity of wisdom teeth extractions, your dentist may use general anesthesia.
The recovery period after wisdom tooth extraction may be longer compared to simple tooth extraction.

Do’s and Don’t’s After Third Molar Extraction

If you have just had a wisdom tooth extracted, here are some tips to help the wound heal painlessly and well:

  • To stop the bleeding, bite firmly on a folded sterile gauze for 5 minutes.
  • To prevent the wound from bleeding again, for the next 12 hours, you should do the following:
    • Avoid drinking alcoholic drinks, hot water and doing vigorous exercise.
    • Avoid removing the blood clot which has formed in the wound. Don’t rinse vigorously in the area and don’t pick at it. The blood clot contains all the healing factors to close the wound.
    • If bleeding starts again, fold a clean tissue paper or handkerchief and bite on it until bleeding stops.
  • To prevent infections, starting the next day, use a warm salt mouthwash twice a day. You can start cleaning the other teeth in the area but avoid the wound.
  • Take painkillers if necessary. Take antibiotics and other medication if prescribed by your dentist. Remember, the course of antibiotics must be completed once started unless an allergic reaction occurs.

Even after your wound has healed, it is important to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning.
Suffering from an impacted third molar?
Book an appointment today with Oral Surgery Associates of Charlotte. Oral Surgery Associates of Charlotte was established with the purpose of providing the best oral surgery care to the Charlotte and surrounding areas. Our board-certified surgeons are experts in services such as wisdom tooth removal, dental extractions, dental implants, and more.

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