Wisdom teeth were helpful for early humans to eat diets that consisted of roots, nuts, seeds, and meat. Over time, humans transitioned from a hunter-gatherer society to a more agricultural society. Years of cooking and eating softer foods led the human jaw to become smaller.
For many patients nowadays, their wisdom teeth aren’t so helpful. For example, these third molars can crowd and damage other teeth, cause pain, and increase the risk of dental disease.
How Many Wisdom Teeth Do You Have?
Some fortunate patients don’t have any wisdom teeth. Others have anywhere from one to four in the very back of the mouth.
What Happens When These Teeth Don’t Grow In Properly?
Some wisdom teeth are impacted, which means they stay under the gums and don’t grow in. This can cause problems if they grow into neighboring teeth and push them into misalignment or damage their roots. Partially emerged wisdom teeth and those that erupt crooked are difficult to keep clean and can result in tooth decay, gum disease, and infection.
Best Age for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Removing wisdom teeth before they have a chance to cause any problems can prevent the patient from experiencing unnecessary pain, discomfort, and complications. Wisdom teeth removal procedures usually occur when a patient has reached their late teens or early twenties. This time frame tends to make for simpler procedures and shorter recovery times because the jaw is done growing but the roots of the wisdom teeth haven’t had time to fully form yet. However, they can be removed later in life with successful recovery.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
We recommend patients schedule biannual dental visits at Royal Oak Dental Group so their wisdom teeth can be checked out on a regular basis. We can make a recommendation of if and when wisdom teeth should be removed based on our clinical examination, the patient’s oral health history, and X-ray images.
Some wisdom teeth grow in normally and don’t have to be removed. In other cases, we will see that one or more wisdom teeth are currently causing problems or are likely to cause problems in the future. If we determine that you would benefit from their removal, we’ll work with you to find a convenient time for their safe extraction.
If you are concerned about your wisdom teeth or your child’s wisdom teeth, contact Royal Oak Dental Group today! We have five office locations in North Carolina: Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Siler City.July 31, 2020 8:00 am