Most people know that wisdom teeth are commonly removed. This is because these teeth are often very problematic to oral health and wellbeing when they are retained. Even though it is common knowledge that many people have their wisdom teeth extracted, some people might be wondering why our bodies develop these teeth in the first place.
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. Our early ancestor’s diets consisted of rough food like nuts and meats, which required stronger chewing forces resulting in excessive tooth wear. Due to bad oral hygiene practices along with the fact that dental care was not accessible, wisdom teeth came in handy because most people lost their other molars to disease by early adulthood. Now that people have access to high quality dental healthcare and are more educated about oral health, our first and second sets of molars can last for a lifetime – thus rendering wisdom teeth unnecessary.
How can wisdom teeth affect my oral health?
Keeping your wisdom teeth can negatively affect your oral health. Since the rest of a person’s adult teeth are well established by the time wisdom teeth erupt, there is not enough room in the mouth for their arrival. Instead, wisdom teeth will crowd existing teeth and become impacted (stuck in the gums and jaw).
When teeth are impacted, they are very prone to developing abscesses. The gingiva surrounding impacted teeth are also prone to infection because food and bacteria become trapped underneath the gums. Another way that third molars affect oral health is by causing issues with one’s occlusion and by causing orofacial pain.
Do wisdom tooth extractions prevent health complications?
Having your wisdom teeth removed can prevent the development of many oral health issues. Conversely, if a person is already affected by their wisdom teeth, having them extracted can alleviate a person’s oral health problems and discomfort.
If you have been referred to our practice, call us today to reserve a consultation with one of our oral surgeons.