Officially called as the third molars, nobody really knows why wisdom teeth develop so late or why we have them, in the first place. The name “wisdom” is taken from how these teeth often come in between the ages of 17 and 25, which is called by many as the “age of wisdom”.
There’ve been theories thrown around as to why exactly we have these teeth. Though, one theory that sticks out for most people is that the early humans needed the extra row of teeth to chew properly. And, when you look at their diet that consisted mostly of roots, nuts and raw meat, it doesn’t take an expert to make a somewhat valid conclusion that chewing on raw meat would definitely warrant the need for an extra set of teeth.
Then again, we no longer live lives similar to our ancestors. In fact, our lives could not be any farther from them, especially when it comes to our diet.
We don’t feed off on roots at all and we don’t exclusively munch on nuts for our daily nutritional needs anymore. Our meat is also cooked, much more tender, softer and easier to chew.
To put it simply, modern humans just don’t have any need for a third set of molars anymore.
Symptoms To Watch Out For
Unlike other teeth, the eruption of the wisdom teeth is rarely noticeable, if at all. But, it’s still important to know when it erupts so you can have them removed well before they cause any kind of dental complication.
If you visit your dentist regularly, then good for you. There’s a huge chance that your wisdom teeth will be removed before it causes any amount of pain and other complications, as your dentist will likely have kept track of the growth of your teeth.
Unfortunately, if you’re like the many others who rarely visit their dentist, you may want to watch out for the following symptoms:
- Experiencing difficulty or pain when opening jaws
- Noticeable bad taste in your mouth, or bad breath
- Pain when chewing, biting, talking or simply opening your mouth
- Obvious swelling of the gums in the back of your mouth, where the wisdom teeth are located
If you feel any amount of pain, do know that unless the tooth has been taken out, it will come and go for weeks, or even months.
Why Wisdom Teeth Needs To Be Removed
Unfortunately, even if we mentioned earlier that the wisdom teeth provides no functional benefit whatsoever, they will still erupt, except in the rare case that you don’t have one (or two), in which case, you’re in good luck.
For the vast majority, however, the eruption of the wisdom teeth can cause tremendous amounts of pain and discomfort. Because wisdom teeth are often impacted, they can also cause further complications if left unchecked.
The term “impacted tooth”, in simpler terms, means that there’s just not enough room in your mouth anymore, which is likely to happen with wisdom teeth.
Your wisdom teeth can be blocked as it erupts, or it can erupt sideways or may even be tilted. Either way, your wisdom teeth do not spell good news for you as it can cause swelling and infection on the flap of gum on top of it. And well, this can hurt, A LOT.
If the infection resulting from the wisdom tooth is not treated and removed surgically, the infection can spread to the throat, or into the neck. In worse cases, removal will not only require surgery, but also an extended stay in the hospital.
Other complications resulting from impacted wisdom teeth are cavities, unnecessary tooth movement, tooth decay or gum disease. There are also cases where the erupting of the wisdom teeth changes the way your teeth comes together, causing a dental malocclusion.
No matter how you look at it, removing the wisdom teeth is the only way to relieving any related pain and preventing future dental complications.
If you suspect your wisdom teeth starting to erupt, be sure to call your dentist immediately for proper counselling. Or, better yet, set an appointment as soon as possible.
For more information regarding wisdom teeth removal, contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry at 510-881-8010. Or visit www.cddentists.com.