There was a time when humans needed their wisdom teeth. That’s because back then they had a bigger jaw and needed the extra teeth to chew big pieces of raw meat, bark, and plant roots. Today we no longer need our wisdom teeth because we eat processed foods. As a result, human jaws have shrunk in size, too. That’s why wisdom teeth have become such a problem for many people. There is no room for them to erupt.
Reasons For Removal
Wisdom teeth can present a myriad of problems when they try to erupt due to the lack of space. Sometimes they become impacted, which means they are stuck in the jaw and unable to push up through the gum. If they are able to erupt they can come in crooked and crowd other teeth, again, due to the lack of space in the back of the mouth. They can also force your other teeth out of alignment and lead to the need for braces. Wisdom teeth can be difficult to brush and floss which can lead to cavities and infection. If any of this is happening to you, bring it to the attention of your dentist. You may need your wisdom teeth extracted.
When To Extract
Today, wisdom teeth are often removed even before they erupt to avoid the many problems they cause. Wisdom tooth extraction is best performed during the teen years. Although they may not be causing trouble now, the jawbone is less dense, and the roots may be undeveloped the younger the person is, making removal easier. Older patients tend to experience a longer healing time. If you are considering wisdom tooth removal for you or your child, Dr. Young can help you make the right decision for you.