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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Words of Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth: Insights from NC Oral Surgeon

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Wednesday, August 30, 2023   

About six in 10 people have wisdom teeth, and for parents hearing they need to get a child's wisdom teeth removed, a North Carolina oral surgeon has some advice.

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are often a source of confusion. The truth is everyone's mouth is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Dr. H. Alexander Crisp, a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, said there is no specific "right age" for getting wisdom teeth removed.

"So I meet patients a lot of times where they're beyond the quote-unquote 'time in which you're supposed to remove your wisdom teeth,'" Crisp observed. "I meet a patient and they're like 47 years old or maybe even 77 years old, and something has changed to the point that the wisdom teeth need to be addressed."

Crisp acknowledged not all people experience issues with their wisdom teeth. However, for an estimated 90% of them, complications can arise, from impaction to infections. Regular dental checkups are important to monitor the growth and development of these third molars.

Crisp noted having wisdom teeth does not automatically mean problems with oral health or hygiene. It also does not necessarily mean a person's other teeth will be overcrowded. Contrary to popular belief, he explained wisdom teeth are not particularly strong.

"When the wisdom tooth starts to come in, or start to erupt at a certain angle or whatnot, it alone cannot push seven teeth out of the way and push them forward," Crisp pointed out.

He stressed the need to have a conversation with your dentist, since increasing your knowledge can help you avoid a procedure or treatment that may not be needed. More information is available on the North Carolina Dental Society's website.

Disclosure: The North Carolina Dental Society contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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