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portrait sad, young girl, woman with painful tooth, ache in medical office siting in chair, isolated dentist clinicWe receive many questions regarding wisdom teeth and wisdom tooth extraction.

To clear up many of the misconceptions, we have rounded up the most commonly asked questions.

If I can’t feel my wisdom teeth, I don’t have to worry about them.

False! Many people can’t feel their wisdom teeth in their mouth, but that doesn’t mean they’re not causing problems. It is hard to feel impacted wisdom teeth, but they can still cause damage to surrounding teeth and gums. It is always safe to have a dentist check your wisdom teeth, but not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed

Some people don’t have wisdom teeth.

Fact! About 65% of the population has wisdom teeth. Everyone else is born without them. Experts aren’t quite sure why this is the case, but it may be a product of evolution.

Wisdom tooth extraction is painful and has a long recovery time.

Fiction! Recovery time is only three to four days and pain is easily controlled with pain medications. OMSNashville also uses intraoperative steroid therapy, which can significantly reduce swelling after the procedure.

Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.

Fact! Most people’s jaws simply don’t have enough room to fit wisdom teeth. This results in the teeth becoming impacted, requiring removal.

Wisdom teeth can be found early by your dentist.

Fact! Wisdom teeth and oral surgeons use x-rays to detect wisdom teeth which have not yet broken the surface of the gums. The professionals can also determine whether the teeth will cause you problems in the future.

After wisdom tooth extraction, patients can’t eat.

Fiction! Patients are restricted from using straws and eating spicy or crunchy foods. We recommend soft food for a few days to ensure healing. Soups, smoothies, ice cream, applesauce and mashed potatoes are good options.

Not having wisdom teeth extracted can lead to gum disease.

Fact! Wisdom teeth are inherently difficult to clean because they are located so far back in the mouth. When the teeth are not properly cleaned, gum disease can result.

For additional questions about wisdom teeth, contact OMSNashville at (615) 822-8403.