Wisdom teeth are the teeth that show up at the back of our mouth. In other words, they are the last teeth and also get developed lastly as compared to other teeth. They are also known as the third molars. They only get fully developed in the age range of 18 to 25. Sometimes they get developed at a much later age. They are named wisdom teeth because they show up at an advanced age as compared to other teeth.
Most people have four wisdom teeth, one at the end of each row of the teeth in the mouth cavity. Some people don’t experience any development of wisdom teeth throughout their lives as they don’t have any wisdom teeth at all, but this happens relatively rarely.
It is believed by scientists that we have wisdom teeth because our evolutionary ancestors had them. Our ancestors had bigger jaws, so the wisdom teeth did not cause any problems for them. Through time we have evolved to have smaller jaws, but we still possess the wisdom teeth. This space limitation in the evolved human being makes the presence of wisdom teeth problematic.
When the wisdom tooth develops, it can either stay in the gum or make a partial breakthrough from the surface of the gum or make a full eruption. In all cases, there is a considerable amount of possibility that it will cause discomfort and complications.
Wisdom teeth mostly stay inside the gum or only partially break through the gum surface. Its development mostly gets hindered by the neighboring teeth. That, in turn, causes the impaction of the wisdom tooth and can result in various other complications such as inflammation of the gums, swelling, and pain. There is also an increased likelihood of cavities with an impacted wisdom tooth.
Wisdom tooth breaking through the gum with not enough space around it for a comfortable settlement in the oral cavity can also cause damage to the nearby teeth. The tooth usually does not get proper space to make a successful jaw conforming eruption. As a result, they may push against other teeth and cause inflammation or other complications such as misaligned or crooked teeth. There can also be issues of tooth decay and chewing problems.
For quite some time, mostly, the standard procedure to tackle the wisdom teeth was always to pull them out as soon as they present themselves. These days’ dentists are more skeptical about performing the extraction as the wisdom teeth do not always necessarily cause problems. There is also a possibility of side effects after their removal, and the removal procedure is also sometimes not a simple one.
Inflammation of the gums can also be observed even with the normal eruption of the wisdom teeth. This inflammation can be subdued in a short duration of time, such as 3 to 4 days by proper management and without any need for extraction. Proper management includes improved oral hygiene, interdental cleaning, and regular use of a good quality mouth wash. If the pain persists for more than four days, then a dentist should be consulted, and extraction can be opted.
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Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!