The wisdom teeth are and elusive topic that most people are unsure about. What are they? Why are they there? Do I really need my teeth pulled? Luckily, we have the answers to all of your wisdom tooth questions. We can help you determine the best way to deal with your existing or incoming wisdom teeth.
The function of wisdom teeth
Since most people need their wisdom teeth removed, it is a puzzle to many why they exist at all. One anthropological theory is that when humans ate a diet more heavy in rough foods, the teeth were necessary for additional chewing power. Mouths were bigger in the past, which could handle the additional room that wisdom teeth required. Another theory is that when other teeth fell out due to poor dental hygiene, there was enough space for the slower-growing wisdom teeth.
In today’s modern world, the wisdom teeth are considered vestigial organs, which means that through evolution, are no longer necessary. So, blame your ancient ancestors for moving toward a soft diet for your need for oral surgery.
How to tell if you need your teeth removed
Not everyone has to have their wisdom teeth pulled. Some people do not have wisdom teeth at all. Most wisdom teeth grow in between age 17 and age 25. If you have not had your teeth grow in by the age of 25, then it is likely that they will never grow in. Some people’s mouths are big enough to make room for the new teeth. If your mouth is big enough, then you won’t have to have them pulled. However, even if your mouth is big enough, in many cases the teeth grow in facing the wrong direction, which can cause all kinds of problems like bacterial infections and tooth abscess.
Generally, dentists recommend early removal of wisdom teeth to prevent problems. As people age, the cavity risk on wisdom teeth are high. There is also a higher risk for gum disease, and destruction on the second molars when wisdom teeth are present. For this reason, many people will benefit from wisdom tooth removal, even if they are not bothered by their wisdom teeth.
However, if you feel pain or pressure near the back of your mouth where your wisdom teeth are located, then you should see a dentist right away before the problem gets any worse. The longer you wait to address wisdom tooth issues, the more difficult it is to recover.
How wisdom teeth are removed?
Most wisdom teeth are removed through surgery. The patient is sedated (usually completely). The dentist will cut away any tissue covering the tooth. The tooth is then loosened with extraction tools. Once the tooth is loosened, the dentist can remove the tooth using forceps. The cavity is then sewn closed (sometimes stitches are not necessary).
The removal of wisdom teeth is something that most people must do at some point in their lives. Wisdom teeth generally cause a lot of problems in the mouth, and the sooner they are removed the better.