Why do we have wisdom teeth?
On hearing the name wisdom teeth, one might think it will give wisdom and make one smarter. Don’t fall for the name; wisdom teeth are just the last set of molars that develop during 17 to 25, which is considered the period in which one gains more knowledge through experience. Four molar, each in one corner, grow in this period. The wisdom teeth are called the same because they emerge last, presumably when you get wiser. Wisdom teeth are associated with tons of questions such as why do we have wisdom teeth, does everyone has them, how are they removed, and more. This post addresses some questions related to wisdom teeth.
What is the purpose of wisdom teeth?
A wisdom tooth said to be evolutionary heirlooms. The wisdom teeth were helpful to our ancestors, whose diet was composed of wild foods such as raw meat, uncooked veggies, and plants. The third set of molars offered high integrity to our distant ancestors when they had to chew raw food. In modern times, the diet has changed drastically. The modern marvels such as spoons and forks and softer food, the need for wisdom teeth has become virtually non-existent. Does everyone have wisdom teeth? The answer is no. As wisdom teeth don’t have any purpose in the modern humans, it doesn’t develop in some. However, genetic studies have revealed that more than 53 percent of people show the development of at least one wisdom tooth.
In some cases, the wisdom teeth don’t come out but they may be present beneath your gums. Since wisdom teeth are not necessary many ask, do wisdom teeth have to be removed?
Do wisdom teeth have to be removed?
The overall structure of modern man changed over the years. As a part of the change, the jawbone became smaller compared to our ancestors. The modern jaw cannot fit all 32 teeth properly. The wisdom teeth get impacted as there is no room for growth in the jaw and leads to various complications. Fully grown wisdom teeth sometimes lead to misalignment of other teeth due to lack of space in the jaw. The most significant problems associated with wisdom teeth are as follows
- crooked teeth
- crowded teeth
- wisdom teeth growing in sideways
- increased tooth decay
- jaw pain
• Formation of cyst
The impacted wisdom tooth is prone to the development of a cyst and results in infection of the jaw. A cyst is a fluid-filled membranous sac-like structure. The formation of a cyst results in the damage of bone, adjacent teeth, and nerves. In rare cases development of benign tumors also occurs. If formed, the surrounding bone and tissue are removed.
Tooth decay is more likely to be caused by a partially impacted tooth. This not only affects the wisdom tooth, but the adjacent teeth are also prone to decay. Decay is mostly caused because of clogging of food and bacteria in the gums of the impacted tooth.
A Partially erupted impacted tooth may lead to the inflammation of soft gums around the crown of the partially erupted tooth, which is commonly called pericoronitis.
What causes wisdom tooth problems?
Pain due to growth: Wisdom tooth pain may erupt while it is growing. The tooth breaks through the gums while it is undergoing the process of development. This is accompanied by pain, a little bit of swelling, and soreness.
Impaction of tooth: Impaction is one of the common causes that result in wisdom tooth pain. Ancient humans had a wider jaw that was spacious for the growth of all the molars, but modern humans have a comparatively smaller jaw that hinders the development of wisdom teeth. The teeth get impacted and cause pain. An impacted tooth also severely affects the adjacent teeth and results in swelling of the gums. Impacted teeth also risk the formation of cysts and, in rare cases, tumors.
Cavity: As the wisdom tooth grows in the foremost interior of the jaw, it usually doesn’t have space; therefore, it grows so close to the adjacent tooth without any gap. This tight space often gets clogged by food particles and germs and can’t be cleaned easily. Accumulation of dirt and grime results in the formation of a cavity and leads to a decaying wisdom tooth.
Removal of wisdom teeth
The most common prevention of wisdom teeth complications is the removal of wisdom teeth. When you think about wisdom teeth removal age, many suggest that it is better to remove wisdom teeth at 18 to 20 at the time of development. Teeth extraction is the standard procedure done at the dentist’s office to prevent wisdom teeth problems.
If you suffer from pain or other wisdom teeth complications, get an appointment dental professional at Ekdantam dental clinic and check do you have to remove wisdom teeth or not.