Kate's Fear of TMJ

Words Of Wisdom: 3 Interesting Facts About Wisdom Teeth

As you age and develop, teeth will erupt over many years. Between the ages of 17 and 21, a third set of molars may erupt. Known as wisdom teeth, these molars are often misunderstood until complications arise because of their development. Using this guide, you will learn a few interesting facts about the wisdom teeth and learn if and when your set of these molars will need to be removed.

1. They Aren't Even Necessary

One of the most surprising facts about your wisdom teeth is that they aren't even necessary.

Most experts believe this back set of molars were needed to help our ancient ancestors grind up plants more efficiently. In actually, most people today have smaller mouths compared to people thousands of years ago, so there is really no room for these extra molars.

2. Some People Do Not Have Wisdom Teeth

Another surprising fact is that some people never have wisdom teeth erupt. In most cases, whether you have wisdom teeth that will erupt or not depends on your genetic makeup.

A simple x-ray will help you and your dentist determine if you have wisdom teeth and if they will erupt properly. Since you do not need them, you do not need to worry about not having them. However, if your dentist feels they will be erupting and erupting in a manner that will impact your other teeth, removal will be recommended.

3. Wisdom Tooth Removal Is Common

Tooth extractions occur for various reasons, but wisdom tooth removal is the most common extraction performed.

It is not always necessary to have these molars removed. Of course, it can be beneficial especially if the wisdom teeth cause one or more of these issues:

  • Impaction – If the wisdom teeth do not erupt completely, they become impacted. Impaction can lead to enormous pain, infection, and potential damage to surrounding teeth.
  • Decay – Because wisdom teeth are located so far in the back of the mouth, brushing and flossing in an effective manner is difficult. Therefore, wisdom teeth have a higher risk of developing cavities and decay.
  • Pericoronitis – Another common issue that wisdom teeth cause is pericoronitis or a severe inflammation of the tissue surrounding these molars. This inflammation is painful, but it can be quickly treated by removing the wisdom teeth.

To learn more about dental extractions, including if you have them or if they should be removed, schedule a complete exam with your dentist today.