Do Wisdom Teeth Make You Wiser and Should You Remove Them?
We all have teeth. We use them to eat, smile and talk. But what makes wisdom teeth so special that they have their own name?
Wisdom teeth can often be a nuisance since over 90% of the population needs removal. Luckily, not all instances of extraction are urgent. If you feel pain or discomfort around the back of your mouth, visit an emergency dentist in Leaside or Davisville, Toronto. There is a lot of mystery around the purpose wisdom teeth exist when the extraction is so often recommended. Read on to understand the basics of wisdom teeth and to learn when it’s time to get them looked at by Your Neighbourhood Dentist in Leaside or Davisville.
What Does the Name Wisdom Teeth Mean?
The name of different teeth is based on their purpose and where they are located in the mouth. Adults typically have 32 teeth called the incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Incisors, the flat, sharp teeth at the front of the jaw, are used to bite, cut, and break down food. Molars, located further back in the mouth, are larger and take up more space, helping to chew food for digestion.
Sometime in early adolescence, between the age 17-21, most people develop a third set of molars which are commonly known as the “wisdom teeth.” Because they’re the last teeth to erupt and do so around adulthood, they are called “wisdom teeth,” suggesting that you are wiser when they appear compared to other earlier teeth.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth allowed our ancestors to eat coarse, rough foods – like leaves, roots, nuts and meats – which required more chewing power and resulted in more wear on the teeth. However, since the contemporary diet consists of softer foods and along with marvels of modern technologists such as forks, spoons and knives, the need for wisdom teeth has become non-existent. In addition, human jaws have become smaller with evolution, leaving minimal room for wisdom teeth when they erupt. Today, evolutionary biologists classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs as they have become functionless. As a result, many dentists in Toronto and around Leaside recommend wisdom teeth removal as a precautionary measure to protect the rest of your tooth alignment and preserve your oral health.
Some of us will never get wisdom teeth, but for those who do, the number may be anywhere from one to four and sometimes even more. To learn if your wisdom teeth need attention, visit Dr.Carrie and the trusted team of dentists in Leaside and Davisville at Your Neighbourhood Dentists.
When Do You Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Wisdom teeth are sometimes a beneficial addition to the mouth when they are healthy and properly aligned, but more often than not, they are misaligned and require removal, which is often the case. When misaligned, they may be positioned horizontally, angled toward or away from the second molars, or angled inward or outward. When this happens, the wisdom tooth often does not emerge properly into the mouth, is partially or fully impacted and can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves.
When wisdom teeth are fully impacted or can’t erupt from the gums, they are entirely enclosed by soft tissue and/or the jawbone. On the other hand, partially-impacted wisdom teeth are those that properly emerge through the gums. Partially-impacted wisdom teeth leave an opening for bacteria to settle around the emerging tooth leading to infection, pain, swelling, and even stiffness of the jaw. Because they are not easily accessible in the mouth, keeping up with daily oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing, is more challenging. If not addressed by a trusted dentist near you, partially-impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Wisdom teeth that remain impacted can sometimes even have cysts or tumours form around them. These cysts or tumours can lead to bone destruction, jaw expansion and/or damage to the surrounding teeth.
If you notice pain or discomfort in the back of your mouth or around your wisdom teeth, act fast and visit Your Neighbourhood Dentist to see our emergency dentist in Leaside or Davisville.
Visit Your Davisville or Leaside Dentist
But just because your wisdom teeth are not causing any discomfort, it doesn’t mean treatment may not be recommended or required. Your dentist will evaluate the risks and benefits of wisdom teeth extractions in each case. Depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing, an urgent trip to an emergency dentist in Leaside may be in order. It is sometimes better to remove them at a younger age, before the roots and bone are fully formed, and when recovery is generally faster after the surgery. This is why many young adults have their wisdom teeth extracted before the teeth cause problems. Extracting wisdom teeth before complications develop also allows for shorter recovery time and less discomfort following the surgery.
If you do have wisdom teeth, talk to your dentist about the risks and benefits of removal. Remember, not ALL wisdom teeth need to be extracted, but ALL teeth need to be brushed and flossed well! 🙂
Talk to a trusted dentist in Leaside at Your Neighbourhood Dentist to learn more about your wisdom teeth.