Wisdom Tooth Management & Oral Surgery

With age comes Wisdom! Well, specifically Wisdom tooth.

Your recent visit to the dentist about your Wisdom tooth might have triggered your search on Wisdom Teeth. To start with, the nomenclature ‘Wisdom Teeth’ can throw you off track and is a common misnomer that these teeth are related to wisdom. Well, historically, these teeth have been called wisdom teeth because they come through at a more mature age. We’ve curated information that can make help you make a wise decision about retaining or losing your Wisdom Teeth.

So, What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth or third molar teeth are the last set of molars to erupt/appear in the mouth. Generally, wisdom teeth erupt in the mouth during 17 to 21 years of age, considered as one major dental milestone and may also mark the completion of the jaw and facial bone growth. Normally four wisdom teeth appear in each corner of the jaws. However, approximately 35 percent of people may not experience the presence of impacted wisdom teeth in their lifetime as they are buried in the jaw bone or missing due to the process of evolution.

What is the evolutionary benefit of wisdom teeth?

Anthropologists believe humans have evolved beyond the necessity of wisdom teeth, so some people may never experience wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth may evolve in the way of the appendix and become vestigial.

Wisdom teeth are important for a human diet that consists of roots, leaves, and nuts, but they are no longer completely necessary. This is because modern-day humans cut, crush, and cook food to soften it. Since the utilization or the use of teeth and jaw has reduced with more refined or softer food, it is believed that our jaws have evolved to become smaller than our ancestors. Smaller jaws mean there isn’t always enough space in the mouth for all the teeth we’re supposed to have. So, wisdom teeth may be either missing or buried/impacted in the jaw bone. So, wisdom teeth are considered a vestigial organ (body part that no longer serves a significant purpose).

You might be wondering now that its just better to leave the tooth, if its of no use also, just like the ‘appendix’ attached to the large intestine. Here we come to our next question –

Do we need to remove wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are not be removed or extracted if they are healthy, completely erupted to occlude (bite) with the opposing tooth without disturbing the alignment, and able to clean with routine oral hygiene practices. However, most wisdom teeth don’t erupt completely (impacted) to occlude with opposing teeth, also known to disturb the alignment of teeth and difficult to maintain mouth hygiene. This leads to constant inflammation of the surrounding teeth, food lodgement, and cavities in both wisdom teeth and adjacent teeth necessitating wisdom tooth extraction.

What happens if you don’t remove wisdom teeth?

Erupting wisdom teeth can grow at various angles in the jaw, causing many problems like pain, repeated infection of surrounding soft tissue, Fluid-filled cavities (cysts), damage to adjacent tooth and cavities in adjacent teeth. Stiffness of jaw joints and limited mouth opening with persistent headaches and pain around the ear are common symptoms of erupting mandibular wisdom teeth.

What are the reasons for wisdom teeth removal?

Most jaw growth is completed by the time an individual attains 18 years, but most wisdom teeth emerge when an individual is around an average age of 19-20 years leading to the deficiency of space to accommodate the third molar tooth. Sometimes dentists will recommend wisdom tooth extraction before any orthodontic work, like braces and aligners to ensure that these teeth don’t erupt later and disturb all the hard work of shaping your jaw and teeth.

  • Wisdom teeth that have not erupted properly can make it difficult to brush and floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them
  • Wisdom teeth that are not erupted in the right position can allow food particle to get trapped. This can allow cavity-causing bacteria to grow underneath gum covering the partially erupted wisdom teeth. This may also lead to infection, pain, swelling, and stiffness in your jaw
  • A wisdom tooth that is impacted can form pathologies like cyst, abscess etc, on or near the impacted tooth. This could damage the roots of adjacent teeth or destroy the bone that supporting the adjacent teeth
  • Other reasons for impacted wisdom teeth People who get their wisdom teeth removed at a younger age tend to heal better from surgery before the roots and bone have fully formed. This can help avoid any potential problems in future

When should wisdom teeth be extracted?

Some dentists recommend the extraction of wisdom teeth if they do not fully emerge.

Many dentists believe that removing wisdom teeth at a younger age is beneficial since the roots and have not fully developed and recovery is often faster following surgery. Discuss the position and health of your wisdom teeth with your dentist, as well as what is best for your situation.

If you are deciding on Keeping your Wisdom Teeth, then ensure you monitor the health of your teeth by regular dental checkups, as there is a potential for developing problems later on. In case you are unable to decide about keeping or extracting the wisdom tooth, fix an appointment with our team of doctors and assess the health of your wisdom Tooth or Wisdom Teeth. Online Dental Consultation  with our specialists is now available. We would be happy to answer any questions or discuss any issues you may have.

Call us or Whatsapp us or book an appointment with our Wisdom Tooth specialist.

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