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Published: December 13, 2017

Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth?

Learn about wisdom teeth from your Chico dentist.

If you've already lost your wisdom teeth or are considering extraction, you may be wondering if the procedure will have any long-term effects on your oral health. Dentist of Philadelphia Square Dental Care in Chico, CA discusses the subject and shares some information about wisdom teeth extraction.

What purpose do wisdom teeth serve?

Wisdom teeth were a necessity when our ancestors relied on hunting and gathering. Back then, a meal might consist of tasty roots and stringy bison meat, if that day's hunt was successful. Because much of the food early man ate was tough, a lot of grinding and chewing was required to break roots or meat into chunks small enough to be swallowed and digested. Wisdom teeth, a third set of molars, made chewing those foods easier.

What effect will wisdom teeth extraction have on my oral health?

Humans eventually began eating softer diets, thanks to the discovery of fire for cooking and heating and the introduction of farming. Because chewing was no longer such a strenuous activity, the size of the jawbone gradually decreased in subsequent generations. Smaller jawbones meant that there was no longer enough room for the wisdom teeth to erupt naturally. Although they tried to erupt, it was often impossible to push through bone and tissue.

Fully impacted teeth occur when the teeth are completely blocked, while some portion of the tooth manages to poke through the gums if wisdom teeth are only partially impacted. Because fully or partially impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain and nerve damage and may even affect nearby teeth, extractions are often recommended. Thanks to the softer diet we eat today, the teeth aren't a necessity. If yours happen to erupt without a problem, you'll have another set of molars to help you chew. Luckily, you won't notice a difference in biting and chewing if your wisdom teeth must be removed.

What happens during the procedure?

Wisdom teeth extraction is a simple oral surgical procedure that involves cutting through bone or tissue to reach and remove the teeth. Although you'll need to restrict your diet to liquid and soft foods for about a week, recovery from wisdom teeth extraction usually occurs fairly quickly.

Are you having issues with your wisdom teeth? Call Philadelphia Square Dental Care in Chico, CA, at (530) 895-1999 to schedule an appointment.

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