People tend to gain wisdom with age, which is the exact reason these late blooming molars were given their namesake. Wisdom teeth tend to develop at a more mature age, usually sometime between seventeen and twenty-one. Completing the full set of thirty-two adult teeth, they find their place within the far corners of the mouth. Wisdom teeth are the most durable and widest teeth; intended to assist our ancestors in grinding and chewing the raw food textures of their primitive diets. While they proved useful at the time, most people’s jaws have outgrown the need for these molars thanks to both modern diets and oral care.
Let it Grow
It is possible for wisdom teeth to grow in the correct position, biting and functioning properly alongside the other teeth. However, it’s still crucial to receive regular dental evaluations to ensure these molars maintain their integrity and don’t become problematic as time progresses. If kept, expanding proper oral care habits to include these extra teeth, including flossing around them and brushing them regularly is mandatory. And, even if the molars are perfectly intact, other unrelated dental procedures like braces may still require you to remove them some time in the future.
While a select few still have the intended room in their jaw necessary to allow these molars to grow properly, the vast majority do not. In fact, in most industrialized countries, the percentage of people who undergo wisdom teeth removal hovers around 90%. Remember, a consultation appointment and X-ray is the only way to gain a clearer understanding of your specific situation.
Let it Go
More often than not though, wisdom teeth will become impacted. Meaning they surface at an incorrect position in your jaw or under your gums, due to a lack of space. This awkward angle can have a variety of consequences, ranging in severity from slightly bothersome to exigent pain.
- Trapped food debris around the wisdom teeth, meaning an excess of bacteria and ultimately… cavities!
- Vulnerable gums may lead to painful infections, stiffness, and even swelling.
- Limits the ability to correctly floss around the tooth and adjacent teeth.
- A lack of space can crowd or damage the integrity of neighboring teeth.
- Cysts can form on or near the impacted wisdom tooth. Damaging the roots of nearby teeth or severely harming your jawbone all together.
- Gum disease, tooth decay, and even tumors can arise if enough time passes!
Only We Can Know
The best strategy to avoid any unexpected issues regarding your oral anatomy is routine checkups with dental professionals. Your wisdom teeth and how they set in place is no different. If you have felt any pain, discomfort, or unusual sensations arou\
nd these areas, we recommend getting your teeth under our eyes as soon as possible. Even if you’ve noticed your wisdom teeth emerge without any painful symptoms, we still highly advise you to book an appointment with us. The sooner we see your smile, the more support, care, and guidance we’re able to offer!