What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth appear at the back of one’s mouth and are termed as the third molars. The third set of molars develop in the early twenties most likely between the age of 17 and 25. A person may have one to four wisdom teeth and very rarely it is more than four. They are the last set of molars that appear and because this is the time period when people are doing their higher studies and gaining more wisdom, they are called the “wisdom teeth”.
Why do we extract wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth have a tendency to be misaligned or become impacted. They appear at a different or funny angle that affects the other teeth. This misalignment occurs mainly because our jaws are too small to occupy the wisdom teeth. When this happens, it can cause immense pain while chewing and lead to infection because of which they require removal. The wisdom teeth are located way behind which makes it less easy to clean and easier to rot and infect the teeth situated next to it. They cause crowding issues too. Even if they are perfectly aligned, they may cause trouble in the future because of which it is recommended to have them removed once and for all.
Why do we have wisdom teeth anyway?
If our jaws are so small to handle the wisdom teeth then you must wonder why we have it anyway. Well, our jaws have become smaller now but initially, they were able to accommodate the wisdom teeth in. Wisdom teeth helped our primitive brothers in chewing hard raw substances. More modern diets as we went along became softer and softer having to chew very little compared to our ancestors which now classify wisdom teeth as being vestigial parts of the body i.e. existent without any use of it. A small percentage of individuals are born without wisdom teeth.
What if I just ignore my wisdom teeth?
It’s not mandatory that you have to get them out of your mouth. If they are aligned properly and do not cause any pain or other dental related problems, then you might have nothing to worry about. It’s important to ensure this because the wisdom teeth are better pulled out when they are not strongly attached to the jaw. The main reason to have them removed is that they could damage the teeth next to them. They could crowd around the other teeth causing mouth pain and bite problems. It could cause sinuses, cancerous cyst formations in the mouth, inflaming of gums, cavities and so on.
When is the best time to have wisdom teeth removed?
As we age, the bones in the mouth get harder and the wisdom teeth are better pulled out when they are not strongly attached to the jaw. It is advised to not wait for too long to avoid such dental surgeries as it could lead to complicated dental problems.