95% of teenagers need their wisdom teeth removed. You might wonder why we even have these teeth to begin with, and why they need be taken out. Here are the origins of third year molars and the wisdom behind extracting them.

History of Wisdom Teeth

The diet of our ancestors was made up of unprocessed foods that were difficult to chew. Wisdom teeth were required to grind up tough meats and raw vegetables to make them easier to digest. These teeth were important in the past, but now they are no longer needed to survive.

When do you get wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth begin to come in between the ages of 17 to 21. The first indication of wisdom teeth pushing through the gums into your mouth (erupting) is pain in the nearby teeth or around your ear. Many people experience swelling of the gums in the back of the mouth, pressure on the jaw making it difficult to open, and pain when chewing. This pain can occur over a few days, and disappear. The pain often comes and goes over the course of a few weeks or months.

Why are wisdom teeth removed?

Dentist recommend extractions to maintain overall dental health. The reasons extractions are important to dental health:

  • Wisdom teeth can become impacted. Since the jaw usually does not have the space to accommodate another set of molars these teeth become trapped and can develop an infection. If untreated, this infection can spread to the throat or into the neck.
  • These teeth can cause jaw problems. These teeth begin to push against other teeth and cause them to move or fracture. This can cause cysts to form around the new teeth, the deterioration of nerves and the jawbones.
  • Wisdom teeth can cause sinus issues. The pressure of these teeth erupting can cause sinus pressure, pain, and even infections.
  • Wisdom teeth often only partially erupt. Partially erupted teeth are difficult to clean and can compromise healthy gum tissue.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

Our dentist will take X-rays to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth, and to see if the tooth is compacted. If the tooth is causing pain, has developed an infection or is interfering with nearby teeth, we will recommend your wisdom teeth be removed. The removal often requires sedation or local anesthesia. You cannot eat for six hours before surgery. The extraction of one tooth can take 5 to 30 minutes depending on its position. If the area has an infection you may need to take an antibiotic.

Our expert team can remove these teeth to maintain your healthy teeth and gums. Make the wise decision and schedule an appointment today.