Many people choose to have their wisdom teeth removed to reduce the risk of problems later in life. Should you have your’s removed, and if so, when?
Wisdom teeth sprout after the age of 15 for most people and a bit later for others. These teeth sit right behind your molars at the back of the mouth and grow in sets of two — two at the bottom and two at the top, bringing the total to four. Sometimes, wisdom teeth can grow crooked or misaligned and push against other teeth leading to misalignment or overcrowding. That’s why most people choose to extract their wisdom teeth but is this really a good idea?
Why the Name Wisdom Teeth?
The name “wisdom” sounds pretty peculiar for a set of teeth, so why the name? Well, Wisdom teeth get their name because their growth is thought to signify maturity. Usually, old age is associated with wisdom hence the name wisdom teeth.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
Twenty-eight teeth seem enough for chewing and shaping our faces, so why an extra four? Well, to understand the purpose of wisdom teeth, we’ll have to take a trip back in time to when our ancestors roamed the earth. Anthropologists believe that our ancestors developed wisdom teeth to help them chew through tough foods like roots, nuts, and crush bones.
Common Wisdom Teeth Problems
Wisdom teeth can lead to various dental problems. These problems include overcrowding, misalignment, and impaction. Impaction is when the wisdom teeth grow at an angle that pushes into the gum or surrounding teeth. These wisdom teeth problems are why most people have theirs extracted.
How to Take Proper Care of Your Wisdom Teeth
Even though they’re essentially useless, you still need to take good care of your wisdom teeth, and here’s how you do it:
- Brush regularly and ensure your toothbrush reaches the back of your mouth
- Brush along the gum-lines to remove any debris that may collect around the wisdom teeth
- Have regular dentist visits to ensure your wisdom teeth remain in proper shape
- Rinse your mouth with saltwater or mouthwash to eliminate any bacteria that may cause infections.
Wisdom teeth are harder to clean, but the above tips should help keep them spotless and healthy.
Should You Extract Your Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth should be removed if they cause problems. Here are instances when removing your wisdom teeth may be a good idea.
- Wisdom teeth may cause some degree of pain and discomfort in some people
- To reduce the probability of developing a cyst or benign tumor because of impacted teeth
- Impacted teeth may also lead to localized diseases
- To allow for proper alignment in situations where there’s no space on your jaw
The Dental Anesthesia Center
Want to get rid of your wisdom teeth? Or maybe you’re dealing with a wisdom teeth-related problem and looking for a solution? Our dentists at the Dental Anesthesia Center can help. Contact us today and schedule an appointment.
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The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.