Reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Foley, DDS

We get so many questions about wisdom teeth. Why do we have them? Why are they called wisdom teeth? Is it really necessary to get them out?

So we are dedicating this blog to these frequently asked questions! 

Whether you’re experiencing discomfort, preparing for surgery, or simply curious, our aim is to provide you with the essential information you need.

Table of Contents

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, were essential for our ancestors who had a diet consisting of hard-to-chew foods like roots, nuts, and leaves. These additional molars helped in grinding down such foods. Today, with our modern diets, smaller jaw size and cooking methods, these teeth are no longer necessary.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Called Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are so named because they typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25, a time historically associated with the attainment of maturity and “wisdom.” Their late arrival compared to other teeth earned them this unique name.

At What Age Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?

Wisdom teeth generally start to emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. However, this can vary from person to person. In some cases, people may never develop wisdom teeth, or they may fail to erupt into the mouth.

How Many Wisdom Teeth Do You Have?

Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. However, it is possible to have fewer than four or sometimes even more. Some individuals are born with extra wisdom teeth known as supernumerary teeth, while others may not develop any at all.

What Does Wisdom Teeth Pain Feel Like?

Wisdom teeth pain can manifest in various ways. It often feels like a dull, throbbing ache at the back of the jaw. Some people might experience sharp pain, swelling, or tenderness in the affected area. In more severe cases, pain may radiate to the ear or throat.

How Long After Wisdom Teeth Removal Can I Eat?

You can start drinking liquids as soon as you are discharged from surgery, and you can begin eating soft foods as soon as the numbness from anesthesia wears off, typically a few hours after surgery. Foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies are ideal. Avoid hot foods and drinks to prevent dislodging the blood clot.

When Can I Eat Solid Food After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

It’s advisable to wait at least one day before introducing solid foods back into your diet. Start with softer solid foods like pasta and gradually move to harder foods as your comfort allows. Listen to your body and ensure you’re chewing away from the surgical site.

When Can I Use a Straw After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

You should avoid using a straw for two weeks post-surgery. The suction created by using a straw can dislodge the blood clot in the surgical site, leading to a painful condition known as a dry socket.

When Can I Stop Worrying About Food Getting Stuck in Wisdom Teeth Holes?

It can take up to 8 weeks for the extraction sites to fill with soft tissue and bone. As long as there is a hole you risk getting food stuck in the holes. Use the syringe you were given to rinse out the sockets after every meal until they have completely closed over. 

How Can I Speed Up Wisdom Teeth Recovery?

To speed up recovery, follow your oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions carefully. Rest, avoid strenuous activities, and maintain good oral hygiene. Do not smoke cigarettes or marijuana, chew tobacco or vape for four weeks following surgery. 

The Best Oral Surgeon in Boulder CO

At Foley and Le Oral Surgery, we’re dedicated to ensuring you have a smooth experience with your wisdom teeth. If you have any more questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us. Your oral health and comfort are our top priorities.

If you are looking for the ‘best wisdom teeth removal in Boulder, CO’ or ‘an oral surgeon near me’ come in today for a consultation or call us at (303) 444-2255.

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