Getting your wisdom teeth removed, it is the dental milestone that none of us look forward too. Most of us only know these teeth as the few ounces of wisdom we can live without, but for some reason, most of us have them. Well, it is time to set the record straight on the story behind wisdom teeth.
Our third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth due to the age that they normally emerge. It is assumed that perhaps humans could use the extra wisdom between the ages of 16 to 25. While you can have more or less, most people have four, and they are located in the far back of your mouth on both the left and right and top and bottom. About 35% of the population is born without wisdom teeth entirely.
Fun fact: Japanese researchers found that wisdom teeth produce stem cells. The potential future uses of this are interesting to consider.
If we have wisdom teeth though, then what is the problem and why do so many people need them removed? The issue is that, as the teeth develop, they can affect other pre-existing teeth in your mouth. Not everyone’s jaw has enough space to fit these extra teeth. When there is not enough space in your mouth, your teeth can become impacted causing you pain and harming your other teeth. It is estimated that nine out of ten people have at least one wisdom teeth impacted.
As a result, most wisdom teeth need to be removed through routine oral surgery that takes place in-office, generally under a form of anesthesia. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, about 85% of all wisdom teeth eventually need to be removed whether from lack of space or the difficulty to clean leading to infection.
At the end of of the day though, it is not that big of the deal to have your wisdom teeth removed because it happens to most people. It is just important that you contact you dentist as soon as you begin experiencing pain where your wisdom teeth are to get treatment. Often your dentist will be able to tell you if you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed before it becomes an issue. If you have questions about you wisdom teeth, contact your dentist to talk through your options.