Do I Need To Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed? | Dentist Tyngsboro

Wisdom teeth, otherwise known as the third molars, usually pop out and erupt by the time a person reaches between 17 and 24 years old. It’s quite common for people to hate it whenever their wisdom teeth starts to erupt. Not only is it always accompanied by pain, treatment requires an immediate trip to the dentist, which is another thing that a lot of people seem to dread.

That being said, it’s only fair for the average person to wonder if whether or not wisdom teeth always need to be removed.

Why Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed

Before we humans became civilized and learned to cook food, most of us were vegetarians and ate mostly plants, nuts, and seeds. Back then, humans were believed to have much larger jaws to accommodate the third molars, which were extremely useful back then. However, as our diets changed, our jaws evolved and began to shrink. And, these days, our jaws have much less room for the third molars. This often leads to the wisdom teeth growing up and erupting at an angle that prevents them from erupting properly.

When wisdom teeth are only partially emerged or come in crooked, also otherwise known as impacted, it can lead to painful crowding and misaligned teeth. Not only that but impacted wisdom teeth are also more prone to gum disease. Because of this, dental experts recommend that wisdom teeth be removed as soon as they erupt to prevent further complications. In fact, some even recommend having the wisdom teeth removed in advanced, well before any problems arise.

This does not mean, though, that all wisdom teeth are candidates for removal. Some people, for example, don’t really grow third molars at all, while others grow only one. And, for some reason, some people have no problems with their wisdom teeth crowding or impacting their teeth. In such cases, people are free to keep their wisdom teeth for as long as they want. Although extra care is recommended because they are pretty far back and are much more vulnerable to tooth decay as a result.

What To Expect From Wisdom Teeth Removal

Impacted wisdom teeth will have to be removed via surgery. What happens is that the oral surgeon cuts into the gums and removes the tooth or teeth in sections to help keep the amount of bone removed at a minimum. Afterward, ice packs and pain medications are prescribed to help ease the pain. Also, don’t worry, anesthesia is always used to make patients feel comfortable throughout the procedure.

Meanwhile, if the third molars erupt normally and not impacted, the surgeon will simply separate the gums from the tooth, lever the tooth around to loosen it from the socket, remove it and clean the area. It’s that simple.

To keep complications and pain at a minimum, many dentists and oral surgeons recommend that patients be evaluated for possible wisdom teeth removal as early as in their late teenage years.

If you still have your wisdom teeth make an appointment today for an evaluation with Dr. Yankowskas 978-649-7773. Visit the website at

Tyngsboro Dentist | Oral Cancer Month – How to Prevent Oral Cancer

oral cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 48,330 were diagnosed with either oral cavity cancer, otherwise known as just oral cancer, or oropharyngeal cancer. Additionally, around 9,570 died of the said cancers. Mind you, these estimates were from 2016, and the estimated number of deaths and new cases has been projected to only grow in 2017.

Fortunately, oral cancer can be prevented, and treatable, especially if caught very early on, which usually happens during a routine dental checkup at the dentist’s office.

Early Warning Signals, Signs and Symptoms

Mouth cancer can occur on the lips, tongue, throat and even the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. Because early detection is key to the successful treatment of oral cancer, it’s important that you take note of the following symptoms and visit your doctor or dentist immediately if they persist for at least two weeks:

  • Sores, swellings, lumps, or thick patches found anywhere inside or around your mouth and/or throat
  • Clusters of red or white lesions in and/or around your mouth or lips
  • Uncomfortable feeling in your throat, as if there’s a lump or object stuck inside
  • Swellings that make wearing dentures uncomfortable and/or painful
  • Feeling of numbness, tenderness, or pain anywhere in your mouth or your tongue
  • Pain in any one of your ears, but your hearing is unaffected
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or anything that involves moving your jaws or tongue
  • Sudden loose teeth with no apparent cause
  • Hoarseness or a sore throat that lasts for more than a week

Why Frequent Dental Checkups Are Important

According to the American Dental Association or ADA, in addition to checking your teeth and gums for oral disease, your dentist will also check your lips and face for any signs of oral cancer during a routine oral check-up. If the dentist deems it necessary, he or she may palpate your neck and jaw areas, as well as examine your tongue more closely. These dental checkups / oral cancer screenings should be done every six months to increase the chances of oral cancer being caught early on.

If the dentist finds any reason to suspect oral cancer, he or she will recommend a biopsy of the affected area. If the diagnosis is positive, surgery is usually recommended, followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

While oral cancer survival rates hover around the high 80s (90% in the UK) if detected early enough, prevention is and will always be better than cure.

Practicing good oral hygiene at home to prevent tooth decay and gum disease can help lower your risk for gum disease. Making certain lifestyle choices and changes, such as limiting alcohol consumption, abstaining from smoking, eating right, and limiting your exposure to the sun, just to name a few, has the same effect.

Of course, it will help for you to take note of any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above. Knowing where to look and what to look for increases the chances of identifying oral cancer early on and having it treated before it becomes a life-threatening condition.

Call Dr. Yankowskas today for an appointment to have an oral cancer screening at 978-649-7773. Visit the website to learn more about the practice at