Why Do Some People Keep Their Wisdom Teeth?

Brunette young woman cringes in pain and touches her hand to her cheek due to impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth can be a literal pain, especially if they grow in crookedly after they start breaking through your gums, or if they can’t grow in at all because they get impacted. It’s not uncommon for teens and adults to have their wisdom teeth removed, then spend their recovery icing their cheeks, resting, and only eating soft foods and liquids. So what happens when you actually keep your wisdom teeth, and why would anyone do that?

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, or “third molars”, are a set of residual teeth that helped our ancestors out when they needed an extra set of molars to break down their tough-to-eat diets. However, modern humans don’t really need wisdom teeth due to advances in our diet and oral hygiene routine. It is possible to have anywhere from zero to four wisdom teeth.

Why Would I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Many people nowadays don’t have enough room in their mouth for wisdom teeth. Thus, they can grow in crookedly, throw your entire bite out of alignment, cause trouble for neighboring teeth, and even get stuck in your jaw. Moreover, since they’re hard to reach and clean, it’s common to experience decay, pain, and infection around them.

What Is the Removal Process?

Wisdom teeth removal is quite simple and pretty painless. Whether you choose a local anesthetic or more heavy-duty sedation, you won’t feel a thing during the procedure. But you may experience bleeding, pain, and swelling over the few days following your procedure, and you’ll have to be mindful to keep food particles out of the area where your teeth were removed to promote healing and to prevent infection. But after a couple of weeks, you should be able to eat, drink, and brush your teeth as you normally would!

Why Would I Want to Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

Some people have wisdom teeth that don’t pose any discernable threat to their other teeth or their bite because they grow in straight and they have room in their mouth to spare. In that case, all we have to do is monitor them to ensure that they don’t cause future issues. Just continue to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would, and visit us twice per year for examinations.

We Can Remove Your Wisdom Teeth!

Not sure if you may need your wisdom teeth removed? Our team at Litton Family Dental can help you know if wisdom teeth removal is right for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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