What About Wisdom Teeth?

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Third molars are called “wisdom teeth” because they don’t appear until you’ve grown a little wiser than your childhood self… usually between the ages of 17 and 25. They appear in the back of your mouth, behind your molars.

Why Do We Have Them?

Anthropologists speculate that wisdom teeth would have been useful to our ancestors back in a time when teeth were often lost in adulthood due to trauma, decay, or worn down by a poor diet. Now that our diets are easier on our teeth, we have advanced dental care, and jaws are shrinking, the outlook for accommodating extra teeth isn’t good. Evolutionary biologists now classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs, or body parts that have become without a purpose due to evolution!

Some people never get wisdom teeth! Others will usually have between 1-4 of them.

Do Impacted Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?

An “impacted” wisdom tooth means that the tooth is blocked by other teeth around it. Impacted wisdom teeth don’t necessarily need to be removed, and some will sit there quite happily, causing no issues. But, if the tooth partially erupts through the surface of the gums, food can get trapped and lead to an infection, abscesses, or gum disease. Your dentist may recommend a treatment course and lots of careful oral hygiene before considering the removal of your wisdom teeth. Otherwise, they will recommend the removal of your wisdom teeth if it is in your best interest. This is an extremely common procedure.

Are My Wisdom Teeth Making My Other Teeth Crooked?

If you’re experiencing dental crowding your wisdom teeth are probably not to blame, and other factors – such as not wearing your retainer – could be responsible. If you’re concerned about crooked teeth, the best thing to do is seek advice from a specialist orthodontist – like us.

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