FAQs About Wisdom Teeth

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last set of adult teeth that grow in, and are sometimes referred to as the “third molars”. These teeth are located at the very back of your mouth behind the second molars. For some people, their wisdom teeth have enough space to grow in with no problems, but for many people, the wisdom teeth become impacted in the gums or jawbone.

Do My Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?

As mentioned above, some people’s wisdom teeth grow in without any issues, in which case they do not need to be removed. However, if you are like most people and your wisdom teeth become impacted, dentists recommend that you have them removed. If your impacted wisdom teeth are not removed, it can lead to pain, cavities, gum disease, and several other oral health issues.

What Does It Mean If A Tooth Is Impacted?

An impacted tooth refers to a situation where a tooth does not break through the gums or only emerges partially. This typically occurs because the tooth is stuck in the gum tissue or jaw bone. Impacted teeth are not always painful, but if you have an impacted wisdom tooth and do not take steps to correct it, the tooth can push into other teeth and cause a misaligned bite. Impacted teeth can also trap food, plaque, and other debris in the soft tissue around it, causing inflammation of the gums.

What Age Do Wisdom Teeth Start Coming In?

Wisdom teeth typically grow into the mouth between the ages of 17 and 25, however, some people never develop any wisdom teeth at all! If you feel pain behind your last set of molars but do not see any teeth emerging, there is a chance that your wisdom teeth are fully impacted under the gums.

What Is The Wisdom Teeth Removal Process Like?

If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, you’ll most likely need to have them removed. When you decide to get them removed, your dentist or oral surgeon will either numb the area around the wisdom teeth with local anesthetic, sedate you, or give you general anesthesia to make you more comfortable during the procedure. Next, the dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone. The dentist will then remove the wisdom teeth and clean the area to remove any debris from the area. Finally, the dentist will stitch up the incision and place gauze over the extraction site to control any bleeding that may occur. 

Contact Gentle Dental Maine!

If you have any additional questions about wisdom teeth or any other oral health problem, please contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!