Nicknamed “wisdom teeth” because they usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 (the so-called “age of wisdom”). Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars at the back of your mouth.
It was believed that wisdom teeth were once necessary so that our early ancestors could eat a rough diet of uncooked meat and bones, which required more chewing power. Over the years, however, human dietary needs, as well as jawbone anatomy, have evolved to the point where wisdom teeth are not only unnecessary but are now often detrimental to our modern oral health.
With softer diets and shorter jawbones, the average modern human mouth can comfortably accommodate 28 teeth. Wisdom teeth often create crowding, and eruption problems that can give rise to a variety of oral health issues including pain, infection, tooth decay, misalignment, and even jaw and nerve damage. In fact, studies have shown an estimate that up to 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed.
It’s important to recognise that even unseen wisdom teeth often cause serious problems. That’s why experts recommend wisdom teeth be evaluated early, usually during the mid-teen years. Early treatment can not only resolve any current problems but can also prevent serious issues that may develop in the future. At Evergreen Dental Care, we are experts in the care and removal of wisdom teeth and can examine yours or your child’s wisdom teeth, determine the best treatment options, and remove the wisdom teeth, if necessary.
What kind of problems can wisdom teeth cause?
As wisdom teeth struggle to find room to grow in a crowded mouth, these teeth may grow in sideways, partially emerge, or even remain trapped under the gums. When wisdom teeth are partially or completely trapped in the gum, they are called impacted. While wisdom teeth can cause obvious issues such as misaligned and crowded teeth, impacted wisdom teeth may cause many unseen and serious problems, such as jaw and nerve damage. Whether your wisdom teeth have come in or not, they may be causing problems that could include:
- Misalignment of the jaws and teeth
- Tooth decay from trapped bacteria and food
- Infections, pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Gum disease
- Jawbone damage
- Nerve damage
- Cysts and tumors in the jaw
Early evaluation and removal of wisdom teeth is the best way to resolve and prevent problems associated with wisdom teeth.
Contact our caring team at Evergreen Dental Care to arrange an assessment for you or a member of your family regarding wisdom teeth removal.