- November 19, 2019
Humans’ cooking skills have evolved, but we’re still dealing with the wisdom teeth that were once essential for our ancestors’ diets of root, leaves, nuts and not-so-tender meat. These are our third set of molars that typically erupt sometime between ages 17 and 21.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
We are born with all the teeth we will ever have. They grow as our bodies develop and emerge at a fairly consistent rate throughout our childhoods. Because wisdom teeth are the last to appear, we’re “wiser” when we get them, hence the name.
Most people have four wisdom teeth in the back of their mouths, two each on the top and bottom. Some people only have one or two. Others are born without any. Wisdom teeth are considered a vestigial body part meaning they no longer serve a necessary function – similar to appendixes.
Pain and Other Issues
But anyone who has had wisdom teeth problems can tell you that even though they have no purpose, they can still cause a lot of pain. Wisdom teeth that are impacted in the gums don’t have enough room to erupt, causing them in some cases to grow at angles and press on neighboring teeth. The pressure causes pain and can cause teeth to shift, which is especially troubling for teens that have had orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth.
Wisdom teeth can also partially erupt and cause issues because they are harder to clean and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
A wisdom tooth removal is the best option to prevent long-term damage to oral health. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Depending on the complexity of the wisdom teeth extraction, patients receive either local, sedation or general anesthesia. The dentist or oral surgeon makes an incision in the gum tissue, removes bones that blocks access to the tooth root, then removes the tooth and stitches the gum if needed.
Aftercare and healing times are also dependent on the number of teeth removed and the severity of the removal situation. Most patients resume normal activities after just a few days.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
The best way to keep track of the development of wisdom teeth is through regular visits to the dentist and yearly x-rays. Even if you’re scared of the dentist, it’s important to keep up with appointments to avoid more significant issues down the road. Are you are looking for a Joliet family dentist for a consult about a wisdom tooth removal? If so, be sure to call Shorewood Family Dental Care at 815-725-5991 or book an appointment online.