Have you ever wondered why we have wisdom teeth? Or what an impacted wisdom tooth is? Or whether or not you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted? We’ve got answers for all of those questions.
Wisdom teeth are what the final set of molars, the teeth found at the very back of the mouth, are called. These usually first appear quite long after the rest of the adult teeth have already been established in the mouth. Most people’s wisdom teeth break through the gum line in their late teen years to early twenties and can cause varying degrees of discomfort when they do so. There are many cases where wisdom teeth grow in perfectly straight and can contribute to the mouth as a healthy additional set of teeth. When this happens, they don’t need to be removed. Often, wisdom teeth do grow in crooked, however, and the reason depends on the specific mouth they are growing into and the genetics of each person.
When wisdom teeth grow in crooked, there is a high possibility that they can negatively affect the other teeth surrounding them. This means that the misaligned tooth could cause crowding, damage to adjacent teeth, or even jaw and nerve damage. It’s best to professionally remove wisdom teeth that pose a threat to the health of the rest of the mouth. An impacted wisdom tooth is one that isn’t able to break through the gum line because it is being blocked by another tooth or teeth. There is not enough room for the wisdom tooth to erupt, and this can result in great discomfort or even severe pain. If the impacted wisdom tooth does manage to push through the little space it has before it is removed, it can cause gum damage, infection, and damage to the jaw line or other teeth.
If your jaw is bothering you and you know that you haven’t had your wisdom teeth out yet, definitely ask your dentist to take a look and see if they need to come out. Wisdom teeth surgery is a very quick, outpatient process and the recovery time is short. Now that you have all the facts about wisdom teeth, aren’t you feeling wise?