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But it is curious, isn’t it? Why in the world would teeth be called wisdom teeth?
The answer is really simple. Wisdom teeth normally appear between ages 17 and 25 which traditionally has been known as the “age of wisdom”.
Wisdom teeth come from an earlier time in our evolution when a spare set of molars was handy to have around. In the age of chewing raw meat, nuts and plants, and when there were no dentists, it was very common for teeth to be knocked out or fall out, and those extra teeth came in handy.
Not everyone has these teeth, but the numbers say about 90% of all people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. This means that no teeth have fallen (or been knocked) out to make room for the extra tooth. On average, people have four wisdom teeth but you can have more. There are dentist’s stories of removing up to nine teeth! Ouch.
Wisdom tooth pain comes from several different areas. Swelling, limited jaw movement, or even pain when chewing can also be associated with wisdom teeth issues.
Wisdom teeth can get infected below the gumline, even if they never break through, and can cause lesions, tumors, and damage to other teeth.
Since wisdom teeth roots form during the teenage years, it is easier to remove them at that age before they fully develop. The older the patient, the more opportunity for wisdom teeth pain due to the movement against other teeth, infection, and the teeth trying to break through.
Of course the longer you wait, the more after effects there will be. Swelling around the area of wisdom teeth removal will continue after the procedure for 2-3 days and might involve you looking like the proverbial chipmunk with a mouth full of winter nuts (but no wisdom teeth!) Just keep your head elevated and utilize ice packs to help the swelling down. You might even show signs of bruising if the teeth were particularly difficult to remove.
Bleeding can be helped with biting on a moist tea bag believe it or not! Any pain can be helped with anything from prescribed painkillers to mild pain relievers like aspirin.
Eat lots of ice cream, yogurt, pudding, smoothies and before you know it, you face will look normal, the bleeding will heal and you will have no more wisdom teeth pain!
If you have any questions, ask Dr. Abeyta. She knows all about wisdom teeth pain!