The Story Behind Wisdom Teeth: Is Removal Necessary?

Wisdom teeth are the last (3rd) set of molars that grow into an adult’s jaw. Sometime before age 22, the teeth drop down and begin to show. You may ask, what do I even need these teeth for anyway? You have most likely heard that many people have one or more of these teeth removed. So what’s the big deal with wisdom teeth?

Wisdom Teeth Are Considered a Vestigial Organ

By vestigial, we mean that we don’t need these teeth to live a healthy life. Our appendix is also a vestigial organ. Years ago, humans needed a much more robust set of teeth than we need today. We had to crush and tear tough, raw foods daily. Maybe this 3rd set of molars was used to accomplish this. Today, we cook our food and use a variety of utensils to cut or reduce our food to easily swallowed morsels.

Interestingly, our bodies may be recognizing this naturally. Some people have less than a full set, or none of their wisdom teeth come in. But when they do, issues can crop up.

Jawbone Space is Critical

Most wisdom tooth problems arise from lack of space. Our bone structures grow at different rates for different people. The jawbone is no exception. Once it stops growing, we may get some new teeth attempting to grow in without the necessary space. It’s like musical chairs. The music stops, and somebody gets left out. With wisdom teeth, it may be several somebodies. When that happens, your wisdom teeth can begin to crowd the teeth that are already there. It can happen because of crowding or having wisdom teeth grow in at an incorrect angle. The tooth tries to grow in but is blocked by the teeth in front. This blockage is known as having an impacted wisdom tooth.

Schedule A Wisdom Tooth Appointment

You may start to feel general discomfort from the wisdom teeth, starting anytime between ages 12-24. At that point, you have to get a diagnosis so you can prevent complications from impacted teeth. You may be able to avoid future oral issues by early detection. We can do that for you. By scheduling an exam and following up on this preventative procedure, you may be able to catch dental issues before they become more far more complicated.

To find out for sure, schedule an appointment today, especially if you are either experiencing discomfort or have a loved one that is between the ages of 17 and 21. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case.