Most of us can remember being somewhere between our late teens and early 20s and thinking we knew it all and were wise beyond our years. Unfortunately, one thing the unlucky ones couldn’t quite figure out at that age is how we were supposed to fit more teeth – our wisdom teeth – in our mouths.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that come in at the very back of your mouth. Scientists believe these teeth were once useful to us humans when our diets were much different. Now that we eat softer foods and have utensils, our wisdom teeth have gone the way of the appendix and tonsils and are no longer of much use to us.
If you’ve ever looked or felt the gumline way back in your mouth, you know there isn’t a lot of room left for more teeth. When there isn’t enough room, the teeth could get impacted, or stuck in your gums. Also, the teeth could start coming in in the incorrect position or at an angle. When these situations occur, even more problems may arise.
These problems could include:
- Food becoming trapped between teeth, leading to increased risk of cavities.
- Pain, swelling, and infection.
- Damage to other teeth due to overcrowding.
- Damage to the jawbone.
- Formation of cysts.
When any of these problems occur, it may become necessary to remove the wisdom teeth to alleviate symptoms and/or prevent further dental health issues. Removal may also be necessary when you are getting braces.
Sometimes, your dentist may recommend wisdom tooth removal to head off problems in the first place. If problems arise when you get older, your teeth will be harder and, therefore, harder to remove. Your dentist will normally take X-rays and then discuss options with you.
Are you experiencing wisdom tooth pain or have questions? Make the smart choice and contact us to schedule an appointment.