Nearly ninety-five percent of people develop wisdom teeth and in most cases, they will cause dental issues and need to be extracted. Yet, if most people who have wisdom teeth will need to have them removed, why is it that we get wisdom teeth at all?
What is the Purpose of Wisdom Teeth?
It is believed that the reason we have a third molar is because before forks and knives, we used to have to chew and grind our food a lot more, which caused significant wear on our teeth. The third molar, which usually begins developing at the age of ten, was used to chew uncooked roots and nuts. Yet, we no longer have the need for them due to utensils, modern cooking, and dental care.
Why do They Need to be Removed?
Since we no longer have a need for the third molar, our jaws have become smaller, which means when the wisdom tooth begins to develop it often doesn’t have enough room and can cause major dental problems. Even before the tooth grows above the gum line it can cause crowding and intense pain. If it does push above the gum line, it will often be impacted on another tooth and won’t come in straight, leaving the gum flap open to food particles and bacteria. If they aren’t removed it can lead to orthodontic issues, gum disease, and infection.
In order to remove your wisdom teeth, your dentist will either need to perform oral surgery, if the tooth is under the gum, or an extraction, if the tooth has surfaced. During these procedures, the tooth will be gently wiggled back and forth until it has become loose enough to pull out. Your dentist will then stitch the gums together to help keep them free of debris and bacteria. Most people don’t experience much pain, but they will need to consume soft foods and avoid drinking with a straw for the first few days.
Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Out?
Since most people don’t start noticing their wisdom teeth until their early teens, it is best to have them removed between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. Waiting any longer can lead to wisdom teeth becoming impacted and causing damage to your healthy teeth. If you are in the Metairie, LA area and are experiencing pain or would like more information on wisdom teeth, please contact Oak Family Dental today!