Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Compulsory?

Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Compulsory?

Nov 01, 2021

The teeth are such important oral organs that help to get us through our daily activities. The teeth aid mastication of food for easy digestion, that is, they are used to bite, tear, chew, and grind food. In addition, the teeth help us to form our words and aid speech production. Finally, the teeth act as a support for the face as it gives the face its shape. To perform these functions, the teeth grow as early as six to twelve months after the birth of a child. The teeth at this stage are called the milk teeth and they help to chew, aid word pronunciation, and keep space for the permanent teeth.

At about age three, the full set of baby teeth numbering twenty are fully grown. These twenty teeth are divided into four first molars, four second molars, four lateral incisors, four central incisors, and four canines (also known as cuspids or eyeteeth). When a child is about six to seven years of age, the milk teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth. By age thirteen, the permanent teeth number up to thirteen. However, this is not the complete set of permanent teeth.

The last set of teeth to grow are molars called the wisdom teeth and they erupt around age seventeen to twenty-five years. These molars bring the total of the permanent teeth to thirty-two. However, most people need a wisdom teeth removal procedure because of the pain and discomfort these molars cause.

Wisdom teeth extraction is a procedure of teeth removal in which the wisdom teeth (four molars) are extracted with the use of anesthesia by a dentist or oral surgeon to prevent dental complications. The wisdom teeth are the last teeth that grow to make thirty-two teeth found in an adult’s mouth. There are four types of teeth in humans. They are the incisors, canines, molars, and premolars. These teeth have different shapes and perform different functions.

  • The incisors are the eight teeth in the front center of the mouth. They consist of four teeth each in the upper and lower jaw. These teeth are typically the first teeth to grow in children. They are used to bite into food.
  • The canines are four in number, located on both sides of the incisors on the upper and lower jaw. They are the sharpest teeth and are used in tearing food.
  • The premolars are eight in number in total. They have a flat biting surface which makes them perfect for tearing and crushing food.
  • The molars are the largest teeth in the mouth. With similar functions as the premolars, they also possess a large flat biting surface. They are used to tear, crush, and grind food. In a fully grown adult, the molars number up to 12 including the four wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth sometimes do not have space to erupt properly thereby making them grow abnormally.

Reasons For Wisdom Teeth Extraction

While some people do not grow wisdom teeth at all, some people grow their wisdom teeth as they grew the rest of their teeth, and others grow impacted wisdom teeth. Tooth impaction occurs when the teeth refuse to grow above the gumline for any reason. Sometimes, wisdom teeth are impacted and this makes them very difficult and unable to be cleaned, thereby making wisdom teeth very vulnerable to cavities and all kinds of dental diseases.

Therefore, wisdom teeth are extracted to prevent:

  • Tooth decay: A buildup of dental plaques around impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, thereby causing tooth decay.
  • Abscess: Bacterial infection can cause a collection of pus around the wisdom teeth.
  • Cysts: Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth develop a fluid-filled swelling (cysts).
  • Headaches: Impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe headaches and discomfort.
  • Cellulitis: This is a bacterial infection in the cheek, tongue, or throat and can be caused by impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Pericoronitis: Dental plaques can cause an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds a wisdom tooth.

Extracting impacted wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure that involved administering anesthesia, making incisions in the gum, and bringing out the underlying teeth.

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Need To Be Removed?

No! Wisdom teeth that are not impacted and do not cause any threat to your dental or medical health do not need to be extracted.

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