Some Wisdom About Wisdom Teeth: What They Are & Common Issues

Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that begin growing in during people's late teens or early 20s. Some people need to get their wisdom teeth removed, while others can grow them in without any issues. If you have your wisdom teeth or they're starting to grow in, make sure you know the signs that they should be removed.

Why Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems

You might be wondering why it's so common to have wisdom teeth removed. Back in the Paleolithic days, people had much larger jaws, which accommodated the space for wisdom teeth without a problem. The large jaws and the third set of molars allowed people to chew tough plants, roots and nuts easily.

Now that humans have been creating technology for the past few centuries to make it easier to eat, their jaws are evolving over time to accommodate the new ways of life. Jaws are much smaller than they used to be, leaving no space for the last set of molars for many people. In fact, about 35% of people never develop wisdom teeth at all. Some of those who do grow them are left with set of molars that are crammed in their highly evolved, small jaw.

Find Out if You Have Wisdom Teeth

Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. Some people have them removed for convenience to stop any potential issues from occurring. For example, the military will remove wisdom teeth from anyone in boot camp who hasn't already had it done. Some people go their whole lives without ever having an issue with their wisdom teeth.

When it comes to your wisdom teeth, you should see a dentist after all of your adult teeth come in, but before your wisdom teeth begin to erupt. For most people, this is between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. Since wisdom teeth don't begin to even develop under your gums until you're about 10 years old, this is a good time to find out if you even have wisdom teeth. If you do, your dentist will decide if you have room to grow them in. If you don't have room for the wisdom teeth to even grow in, your dentist might have to surgically remove them. If there is room, you can grow them in and see later on if you have any issues.

Common Wisdom Teeth Issues

One common issue with wisdom teeth is that they can grow in crooked. Some people don't think this is a big deal since they can't see them anyway, but it can cause a lot of pain and frustration. If the teeth are sitting at certain angles, it can make it difficult for you to bite down. This can cause you to have trouble eating and even talking.

Another issue is them being too crowded in your mouth. Even if they have room to come in, which allows you to avoid a surgical procedure, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll have room for them to stay put. If your mouth is too crowded, they can push your other teeth and actually make some of your other teeth start to become crooked. The most common issue is hygiene problems. With all the crowding, it's difficult to brush around your wisdom teeth properly. This causes plaque to build up, especially behind and in between your wisdom teeth and second molars.

A study was done on adults with wisdom teeth age 25 and older. The study found that people with wisdom teeth had a significantly higher amount of bacteria in their mouths, especially around their wisdom teeth. The study concluded that not removing molars in your early 20s can cause serious dental issues.

As you can see, wisdom teeth can be different for everyone. Make sure you see a dentist regularly so you can keep an eye on yours if you have them. Of course, even if they don't seem to be causing issues, you might want to consider having them pulled for hygiene reasons. Talk to a dentist like Kyle J Frisinger DMD for more information.