You often hear about people getting their wisdom teeth removed. Why is that? And why do some people need to have them removed while others get to keep them without any trouble? These teeth that come in later than the rest can be complicated. But here’s where you’ll find the truth about wisdom teeth and the removal of them.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth There?
Before the human head and mouth evolved over time, past humans needed a larger mouth with more teeth so they could handle their diet of roots and other tough plant foods. With the increase in our brain size and changes in our diet over time, including more meat-eating and cooking, the mouth changed, and these teeth were no longer as necessary as they once were.
Variations in Wisdom Teeth
Humans haven’t yet evolved so that no one has wisdom teeth anymore. Instead, the current situation is that some people are born with wisdom teeth while others do not have any or only have some of the four. Wisdom teeth aren’t a problem for some of the people who develop them while they cause problems in others. The majority of people need to get them taken out because they cause trouble.
Who Needs Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Your dentist will recommend that you have these extra teeth taken out if they are leading to problems in your mouth. Since most people don’t have enough room for them, they can cause overcrowding with your other teeth that had just enough space by themselves. When wisdom teeth come up, they can give you mouth irritation and push the other teeth to make them crooked. While crooked teeth is usually a cosmetic problem that you might want to fix, wisdom teeth can also lead to more serious problems you really need to take care of. This is when they become impacted, which means that they are not able to come through your gums since they are not lined up correctly.
Your dentist can let you know if you have these problems that could warrant removal. In addition, your dentist might suggest a removal procedure if it’s hard for you to clean these extra teeth properly because of where they are in your mouth. If they’re not cleaned well, you could end up with tooth and gum problems.
On the other hand, if your mouth has room for your wisdom teeth and they are coming through or came through correctly, you can probably keep these teeth unless your dentist recommends otherwise. If you want to be sure, go ahead and ask your dentist if they’re causing or could cause you any problems. Your dentist can see the wisdom teeth even before they’ve come through the surface through the use of X-rays. This can help them determine in advance whether they might become a problem.
What If You Need Them Removed?
You’re probably wondering what the next step is if you do need to have these teeth removed. Are they taken out the same way as other teeth? Wisdom teeth are not simply pulled out. Instead, you go through an extraction surgery, which is an outpatient visit with a general or local anesthetic. You could have the procedure done by a dentist or by a dental surgeon.
The actual procedure will vary based on the characteristics of your wisdom teeth and mouth. Your dentist or surgeon may or may not need to make an incision in your gum, depending on whether the tooth has come through the gum or not. Your dentist might need to take off some bone over the tooth, and he might opt to cut the tooth if it would make the extraction easier. The dentist also moves the tooth around to make it easier to get out of the socket. You shouldn’t feel the different parts of this procedure because of the anesthetic. At the end of the procedure, you might need some stitches.
Now you know the truth about wisdom teeth. They are not really necessary anymore, yet evolution hasn’t completely gotten rid of them. If you have trouble with your wisdom teeth, such as pain or crowding, your dentist might suggest that you have them taken out.