Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people start to get in their late teens or early twenties. But, since they’re not full of any ‘wisdom’, you don’t really need them. If they are properly aligned, they can contribute to a healthy smile, bite, and overall function of the mouth, but more often than not, they grow in horizontally, are angled poorly, or damage the surrounding teeth.
Some people think that wisdom teeth are a leftover hereditary trait from when humans had larger jaws and needed to chew foliage and other tough food. But, as we evolved and our diets changed, so did our need for extra teeth. Regardless of what they are useful for, wisdom teeth aren’t necessary to the function of your mouth.
Your dentist will usually take x-rays and recommend if or when to remove your wisdom teeth. But if he or she hasn’t and you are experiencing symptoms such as these, you may want to ask your doctor about your wisdom teeth:
• Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
• Cysts (fluid-filled sacs)
• Damage to nearby teeth
• Gum disease
• Extensive tooth decay
Often, you won’t start to notice any of these symptoms because your dentist or oral surgeon will recommend removal before problems start to erupt. This saves you from a more complicated or expensive removal process years later. Young patients also recover quicker than if you wait to remove your wisdom teeth.
If you are between the ages of 17 and 25, be sure to ask your dentist about your wisdom teeth. To learn more about how University Centre Dental Associates can help you find out if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, call our office today!