Wisdom Teeth

wisdom teethThe removal of wisdom teeth is almost a rite of passage for young adults. It is often recommended by dentists as part of your overall dental plan. Dentists recommend removal of these teeth early as they are easier to remove before they are fully developed and they often cause problems later in life.

Wisdom teeth are a type of molar that is found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in late teens or early twenties but may not push through the gum, due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. Often they sit underneath the gum, angled incorrectly where they can cause problems with your other teeth.

Back In The Day… wisdom teeth were necessary. The types of foods we used to eat were more course and rough, which broke teeth down and allowed more room for wisdom teeth to roam. It was also common for permanent teeth to fall out at an earlier age, which also created more room in the jaw. Also, because the diet of an earlier time was hard to chew and quite coarse, the jaw would actually grow to be larger than the average jaw sizes of today.

Due to today’s high amount of processed food in our diets, we don’t have as much tooth abrasion or as large of jaws that we used to have. Therefore, we tend to have less room to comfortably hold wisdom teeth. Generally, when wisdom teeth come in now days, they are impacted because of the lack of space for them to come in straight. Wisdom teeth can commonly cause pain or irritation, as well as other problems for surrounding teeth.

If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Even if your impacted wisdom teeth is partially or fully grown through the gum, they are difficult to clean and are susceptible to decay and recurring infections.

Each patient’s situation is unique, and we will examine your mouth, take x-rays and discuss your particular needs with you. If we recommend removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner than later.