The average mouth is designed to hold 28 teeth, however, by the age of 18, most adults have 32 teeth: 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth has a specific function, with the teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) designed for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces while the back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency that’s more suitable for swallowing.

Your wisdom teeth are your third molars and usually the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. While they may align property and your gum tissues remains healthy, their presence can also cause significant pain as they try and squeeze into your mouth.

In this case, the extraction of your wisdom teeth may be necessary, particularly if they’re growing sideways, partially emerging from the gum or trapped beneath the gum and bone. As they are erupting, the opening around the teeth can enable bacteria to grow and may eventually lead to an infection. This results in swelling, stiffness and pain, as well as pressure on other teeth as they disrupt the natural alignment.

The most serious problems associated with wisdom teeth is when tumors or cysts form around the impacted area, which can result in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. This is why the early removal of wisdom teeth is recommended to avoid future problems and to minimize the surgical risk that’s involved with wisdom teeth removal.


Initially, you will have an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth to determine the position of the wisdom teeth and predict any potential issues. Early evaluation and treatment can result in a superior outcome for the patient, with most examined in their mid-teen years.

If the removal of your wisdom teeth is necessary, it will be performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia. Your dentist will discuss each of these options with you, as well as their surgical risks before you make a decision.

After the teeth have been removed, your gum will be sutured and you’ll be required to bite down on a gauze mat to help control bleeding. After some rest, you’ll be discharged with a postoperative kit, including instructions and a prescription for pain medication, as well as a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal.

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