Why do we get wisdom teeth?

wisdom teeth MidlothianHave you ever wondered why you have wisdom teeth? If so, the next question you might have is “why do wisdom teeth come in during adulthood?” These are common questions to have because wisdom teeth present a peculiar issue for modern people. Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars, and their original purpose was to replace permanent molars lost early on due to disease.

Before people had access to effective oral hygiene tools and professional oral healthcare, their molars were often lost to disease in their late teenage years or during early adulthood. Missing these teeth made the arrival of wisdom teeth a good thing, but now that people keep their permanent teeth for decades longer than their ancestors, the emergence of wisdom teeth is actually problematic for oral health.

Due to the problems that wisdom teeth present when they arrive, most dental professionals recommend that patients visit an oral surgeon for their surgical removal.

How can wisdom teeth affect my health?

The arrival of wisdom teeth can contribute to a number of oral health issues and quality of life problems. Since most people’s first and second molars are intact when wisdom teeth arrive, many people experience crowding because there isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt upright.

Instead, due to crowding, wisdom teeth will become impacted. An impacted tooth is stuck in the gums and/or jaw. When teeth are impacted, they are especially prone to disease because the tooth is partially erupted, which means that debris and bacteria can pool underneath the gums along the surfaces of teeth. Impacted teeth have a significantly higher risk of developing infections and dental caries.

Beyond the issues that can directly affect wisdom teeth, there are a number of problems that can arise which might affect adjacent tissues like neighboring teeth, bone, and the gingiva. Moreover, the crowding caused by the arrival of wisdom teeth leads to unwanted tooth movement that might result in orthodontic problems.

Many people who have wisdom teeth experience discomfort that might affect their quality of life. Wisdom teeth are known to cause orofacial pain like facial tenderness and headaches.

Having your wisdom teeth removed by an oral surgeon can greatly reduce risks to your oral health. For more information or to reserve a consultation, call Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery today.