Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sat, April 20

Simply Fit: Wisdom teeth ~ to pull or not to pull

Courtesy photo<br>
This is me right after having my wisdom teeth pulled.

Courtesy photo<br> This is me right after having my wisdom teeth pulled.

I can still remember having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled when I was 18 years old. The pain, the puffy cheeks and the inability to eat anything that wasn't a pureed texture. But the upside was that I consumed enough ice cream milkshakes to last a life time.

Tomorrow at 7 in the morning, it's my daughters turn to have her wisdom teeth pulled. I've already gone to the store to stock up on ice cream, apple sauce, yogurt and Percocet. Hopefully she won't need the Percocet but I wanted to have it on hand just in case.

Why do we have wisdom teeth and why do most of us have them removed?

According to WebMD: "Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes these teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they are misaligned and require removal."

Wisdom teeth got their name because they usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25 which is knows as the "age of wisdom." I don't know about you but I wouldn't have considered myself "wise" between the ages of 17 and 25. I guess "wisdom teeth" sounds better than baffled teeth or disoriented teeth.

You may need to have your wisdom teeth removed if your jaw bone is not large enough, if the wisdom teeth become impacted, or if cleaning them becomes to difficult, which can bring on tooth decay and pain.

It turns out that 90 percent of people will have one or more impacted wisdom teeth. This means that most of the people reading this will have, or have already had one or more wisdom teeth removed.

A friend of mine named Carl, didn't have his wisdom teeth removed until he was in his 30s. It wasn't until he found himself in excruciating pain, that he begged the dentist to pull them out. The dentist explained to Carl that he needed to see an oral surgeon but Carl explained that there was no way she could cause him any more pain than what he was already in, so she agreed to remove them. He still remembers the pain to this day.

Make sure that you and your family are getting regular dental exams so that any issue with your wisdom teeth can be addressed sooner rather than later.



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