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Myths And Facts About Wisdom Teeth
Closeup young woman at dentist clinic office. Male doctor and assistant performing extraction procedure with forceps removing patient tooth. Healthcare dentistry medicine concept

Myths And Facts About Wisdom Teeth

When people talk about excruciating pain from natural causes, probably top of the list would be childbirth. Depending on the person and their medical history, passing a kidney stone, suffering from an intense migraine, or severe back pain may also make it into their personal top three.

Another cause of extreme pain, however, which many of us are unfortunately able to relate to, is the agonising toothache associated with wisdom teeth problem. If you’ve never suffered the agony of wisdom teeth, you may be one of the evolutionary lucky ones. Let us see various myths and facts regarding this wisdom teeth.

What are our wisdom teeth?

Our wisdom teeth are our “third molars”, one in each quadrant of our mouth.

Why are they called wisdom teeth?

As the teeth don’t emerge until a person is in their late teens/early twenties, they appear at a time (18-25 years) when a person is wiser than when they were younger.

Why do they cause us problems?

Our human ancestors had four sets of three molars, consisting of 12 grinding teeth – six in the upper jaw and six in the lower jaw. We used these molars to help chew and grind food. We humans underwent a period in which our brains greatly expanded in size. This caused a structural issue in the mouth; with a much larger brain case, the jaw had to become narrower so that it could still connect to the lower part of the skull. Over the course of thousands of years, this has led to a mismatch.

Nowadays, the human jaw is usually not large enough to give wisdom teeth the room they need to erupt through the gums and sit properly in the mouth. This resulted in several problems like food impaction between partially erupted third molar and gum covering the tooth, resulting in infection and inflammation of that area, halitosis/bad breath, decay of third molars, and sometimes even decay or resorption of second molars. Because of insufficient space, it may also cause incisal crowding. Upper third molar malposition has also its role in temporomandibular disorders.

Must wisdom teeth always be removed?

More than 60% of wisdom teeth removals are not needed. Wisdom teeth only have to be removed if they are fully or partially impacted under the gum, or if they will cause damage to the surrounding teeth, jawbone, or nerves.

Is it better to remove wisdom teeth when you’re young?

Many dentists recommend having wisdom teeth removed before they begin to cause problems. Removal is easier in younger people because the roots of the teeth are underdeveloped, and the bone is less dense. For older people, the recovery time and healing may take longer.

Is it better to remove wisdom teeth before orthodontic work?

The eruption of wisdom teeth may cause other teeth to move, but some studies show this is rare.

Is it very painful to undergo wisdom tooth extraction?

Not always. Most of the time the procedure will be painless. But you may have postoperative pain, discomfort, and swelling, which subsides by using medication.

Contact us today

Are you concerned about the state of your wisdom teeth? Contact Prosmiles today to book an appointment.

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