Have you ever wondered why we have wisdom teeth or why they need to be removed? As patients progress through their teenage years, dentists often suggest wisdom teeth removal, yet sometimes it’s not always necessary. While having your wisdom teeth removed isn’t always a must, it can prevent problems down the road. Still, the question remains: should you have your wisdom teeth removed? Let’s find out!
Whether they’re already emerging or still under our gums, we all have wisdom teeth. Often times, wisdom teeth come in and cause overcrowding. In less common cases, patients can keep their wisdom when there’s enough room for them to come in, though this presents an extra set of teeth that are hard to clean. Whichever the case, wisdom teeth should most often be removed, but let’s take a look at why we have wisdom teeth in the first place.
Why We Have Wisdom Teeth
Like we said, we all have wisdom teeth. This raises the question, “If we all have wisdom teeth, why are dentists so adamant about having them removed?” Anthropologists suggest that wisdom teeth are a result of evolution, as our ancestors most likely needed an extra set of molars to grind and chew their rough food. Now, humans have a third set of molars that are quite useless. Not only are wisdom teeth useless, they can also be troublesome, which often requires having them removed.
Potential Problems Resulting from Wisdom Teeth
For some patients, their wisdom teeth can cause quite a bit of pain as they emerge through the gums and crowd the surrounding teeth. In other cases, wisdom teeth don’t have the room to come in and can become impacted. Simply put, there’s a variety of reasons wisdom teeth need to be removed. Take a look:
- Affect nearby teeth: Wisdom teeth can put force on surrounding teeth, causing pain and even problems biting.
- Swollen gums: When surrounding tissue becomes inflamed, it can become more difficult to keep those areas clean.
- Alter tooth alignment: When impacted, wisdom teeth can reverse the work of braces and other orthodontic appliances.
- Cause Cavities: Cavities can often form from swollen gums. Also, erupted wisdom teeth are far back in the mouth, which makes them difficult to keep clean and free of cavities.
When are Wisdom Teeth Normally Removed?
Of course, if patients begin to suffer from the effects of wisdom teeth listed above, they’ll most likely need their wisdom teeth removed. However, regardless of the problems wisdom teeth present, most dentists recommend having them removed. This is most often done in a patient’s’ late teenage years. Quite frankly, it’s often necessary for most patients to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent potential issues in the future.
If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, contact Sweetwater Dental in Rock Springs to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ryan Taylor. He’ll determine whether they need to be removed and refer you to an oral surgeon. Call us today at 307.382.2707.