Everybody must be aware of what a wisdom tooth is. It refers to the last teeth to erupt during the late adolescent years. It actually refers to our third molars. Ever wonder why is it called a wisdom tooth? Does having one mean you’re wiser than ever? People long ago believe that when you start to grow your wisdom tooth, it means that you already acquire a certain level of maturity. It may also add to the fact that this tooth only grows when we are nearing the end of puberty and approaching the years of young adulthood. But the correlation between these two is still to be proven and tested. Nonetheless, the wisdom tooth signifies a new beginning, something to be embraced and cherished.
Generally speaking, our jaw was created to be large enough to accumulate the growth of the wisdom teeth. But then again, this is not the usual case. Most people have four wisdom tooth, but others may have more than that. Still, others may not have any wisdom tooth at all. Although the very significance of the wisdom tooth is yet to be establish, its ability to affect the whole teeth cannot be underestimated. Because of the additional growth and the often smaller jaw, our mouth cannot very well compensate to align the wisdom tooth.
As a result, these third molars overlap with the existing teeth. Overcrowding of the teeth also tends to develop. Hence, the wisdom tooth becomes an impacted tooth or has the potential to be impacted. Having an impacted tooth can be painful and uncomfortable, which leads to a poor appetite and eating habits. Also, the mouth is placed at risk of developing infection because the area behind the wisdom tooth is seldom thoroughly brushed and flossed. When this happens, the only option is wisdom tooth surgery or extraction.
To diagnose an impacted tooth, an x-ray of the teeth must be accomplished. This would also help the dentist determine the type of impaction you have and what kind of extraction you will need. Post surgery, expect a bloody and swelling mouth. Most likely, you’ll be placed on anti-inflammatory painkillers, and if you’re prone to develop infection, prophylactic antibiotics as well. And of course, do not forget to thoroughly brush and clean your remaining teeth. Good dental hygiene habit must be maintained at all times.
It may seem that you’ll have to go through a painful process of removing the wisdom tooth that has become potentially impacted. But keep in mind that it’s always better to remove something that will only cause you further problems than to have remain untouched because of fear of pain.