Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”
With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.
Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.
But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.
In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.
So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
Let’s Talk Teeth: An Inside Look at the Different Types and Parts of the Human Tooth
- Incisors: These are the eight teeth in the front and center of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). Incisors are used to take bites of food, and are typically the first teeth to erupt in the mouth.
- Canines: These are your four sharpest teeth, which are used to rip and tear food.
- Premolars: These eight, flat teeth are located on each side of your mouth (two on the upper and two on the lower jaw). Premolars are big and have ridges, which make them perfect for crushing and grinding food.
- Molars: Your 12 molars are even stronger than premolars. Molars are the back teeth that have broad surfaces designed for crushing and grinding food, and they work along with the tongue to help you swallow food after it’s been mashed.
- Enamel: Enamel is the hard, visible, outermost substance that covers the tooth and protects it from decay.
- Dentin: Dentin is the yellowish, softer layer of the tooth under the enamel that envelops the pulp. Dentin can be attacked by decay if it progresses through the enamel.
- Pulp: The pulp is the soft tissue located in the center of all teeth, containing the nerve tissue and blood vessels. The pulp is how the tooth receives nourishment and transmits signals to the brain.
Welcome to the Blog of Chattanooga Office
Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a dentist in the Chattanooga, TN area, we’re excited you are here. With the dental industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote dental awareness as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including dental news, advancements in dental technology and treatments, practical oral health advice and updates from our practice.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best dental health.
As always, feel free to contact our Chattanooga Office office with any dental questions or concerns.
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