I remember when I was younger being told I had ONE wisdom tooth. My mom didn't have any and I thought it was pretty neat that I got her luck (at least most of it, having 1 instead of 4.) My dentist, Dr. Meadows, told me I might not have to get it out because it was "high up there and might never calcify." I never thought twice about it... until now. Last month I went to my dental check-up and the hygienist (who I LOVE!) took x-rays of my teeth since it had been awhile since the last ones were taken. She compared the new x-rays with the old and said my single wisdom tooth had moved down quite a bit and advised me to get it out. The dentist and my mother-in-law (Jan is the office manager) also said I should get it out to prevent future problems. I decided to wait and schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon later this year. Well, the last two days I have been having some throbbing and discomfort in my upper left gum area where my wisdom tooth is. (So much for waiting a couple months!) I decided now is the time to get it out, so March 7th at 10:30am, I will have one less tooth. The oral surgeon will have a panarex done just to make sure there really is only one and then I'll get some drugs (maybe knocked out) and the fun will begin. To be honest, I'm a tiny bit nervous about it. I know, I know, thousands of teens have this procedure done every year and it's not a big deal. I guess I shouldn't have been googling information about it or watching home videos of actual extractions on YouTube (some of them are pretty sick!) If you have stories (positive ones!) to share, feel free. For those who haven't done much research on these pesky teeth, here is some info I found:
Wisdom teeth derive their name from the fact that they form in the late teen years, making them "older and wiser". In today's world, the softer diet and shorter jaw of modern humans have rendered wisdom teeth unnecessary. In fact, the onset of wisdom teeth can be a painful and potentially dangerous development. In most cases, a relatively simple and straightforward surgery can extract the wisdom teeth before they cause permanent damage to the teeth and mouth.
Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, the "third" molar at both ends of the top and bottom row of teeth. As the wisdom teeth begin to grow, they can become impacted, or trapped in the jawbone and/or gums. As they continue to grow beneath the gum line in an angled or horizontal direction, displacement of the original line of teeth and wearing into the back molars can occur. Wisdom teeth that are unable to "erupt" above the gum line can lead to inflammation and infection. In the case of a partial eruption, a pocket often forms under the gumline, which can lead to the formation of a cyst or tumor. If left untreated, wisdom teeth cause permanent damage, including cavities, nerve damage, gum infection, bone infection, and a weakening of the jaw. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth often grow unnoticed until they cause problems in the mouth or outlying areas, such as the face. These problems can cause headaches, pain in the ears, neck, upper or lower jaw.