Wisdom Teeth Explained
Just what are your wisdom teeth for?
When we are in pain with those pesky third molars at the back of the mouth, otherwise known as wisdom teeth, it is easy to question why they are even there in the first place. They can cause absolute havoc, even leading to some patients needing to have them removed.
As you start going into adulthood you will become aware of your wisdom teeth. They are the last to pop through, and do so at a time when we are supposed to be at an age of wisdom – between 17-25. For some people their wisdom teeth push through with no issues. For many, the wisdom teeth don’t come through at all, or they don’t push through properly. This is problematic and can cause disease in that area of the mouth.
So, if so many people have problems with them, and many people don’t get any real benefit from them, why do we have them in the first place?
There are many theoretical answers to this question. One is that very early humans required more teeth to chew their food, because the food wasn’t cooked, and was very hard. Raw meat, nuts and roots for example. Today some people don’t even develop wisdom teeth, which would suggest evolution is now phasing them out. Our jaws and faces are much smaller than they used to be.
Problems With Wisdom Teeth
So why do we get such problems with wisdom teeth? The answer tends to be in our anatomy. Our teeth are too big, or our jaws are too small, or a combination of the two, leading to overcrowding of the teeth. Wisdom teeth that push through now can grow out sideways, push out a little bit (impacted), or get stuck in the jawbone and gums. Wisdom teeth that are impacted are commonly a very good host for thriving bacteria and people with impacted wisdom teeth may struggle with infections, pain, swelling and even gum disease. But why? Well, they are just so hard to clean because of where they are and how they are positioned. They can also push other teeth out of position causing them to be problematic to.
Managing Wisdom Teeth
Getting wisdom teeth removed is an answer to chronic issues, but it isn’t the only answer. Following your Abbey Road dentists advice, particularly in relation to gum disease, is a great idea. Wisdom teeth are predisposed to issues so if you have one that is not fully erupted and functional, you will need to be vigilant in keeping it clean. Your oral hygiene habits, including thorough and regular brushing, and regular visits to our NW8 clinic will be really helpful in avoiding any wisdom teeth issues. Surgery is an option, but it is a road we want to avoid where possible.
Speak To Abbey Road Dental About Your Wisdom Teeth
If you have concerns about your wisdom teeth, or want to know more about managing them, please book in for a visit to our clinic in St John’s Wood, north west London. With careful monitoring and management, your wisdom teeth can remain trouble free, but a good oral health regime is imperative to helping this happen. Please call us on 02076241603 and we will be pleased to book an appointment for you.