Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Did you know that not everyone has to remove their wisdom teeth? Perhaps you did. But did you know that people have been experiencing tooth pain from wisdom teeth for thousands of years? Aristotle mentions wisdom teeth in his History of Animals and claims a woman had her wisdom teeth come in when she was almost 80 years old.
It’s theorized that modern humans have problems with their teeth because our ancestors had larger jaws. They needed the extra molar power to crush the difficult-to-digest foods they ate. But when people introduced agriculture about 10,000 years ago, our diet changed to softer foods, and we no longer needed such large jaws.
Whatever the reason is, the fact that wisdom teeth don’t always have room to grow and sometimes grow in incorrectly is a painful reality for many people. When a wisdom tooth comes in wrong or doesn’t have room, it can trap bacteria and decay, causing an abscess or other complications. If such problems occur, a wisdom tooth extraction may be needed.
Wisdom teeth typically come in between the ages of 16 and 25 years old. The teeth may not all come in at the same time. And not all of them may grow in at all. Some people never grow any wisdom teeth. A small percentage of people grow an extra set of wisdom teeth.
Signs of Wisdom Teeth Coming In
Signs that a wisdom tooth is coming in include jaw pain at the back of the mouth, pressure or throbbing at the back of the gums, swollen gums or visible cuts in the gums. Signs that there may be a problem with the wisdom teeth include intense pain radiating from the back of the jaw and regular earaches or headaches. These signs may mean the wisdom teeth are impacted or infected or that there simply isn’t room for them to grow. In these cases, a wisdom tooth removal will likely be necessary.
Other complications that lead to wisdom teeth removal include crowding, damage to neighboring teeth, tumors, cysts, and tooth decay.
Myths About Wisdom Teeth
Some people believe all wisdom teeth need removal. However, this isn’t true. While some people need a wisdom tooth extraction, not everyone does. Many people have room for their wisdom teeth. In this case, no surgery is needed to remove the teeth.
Ultimately, you need to consult a dentist about wisdom tooth removal. Wisdom tooth problems are unique to each person. Issues and growth patterns commonly range from sibling to sibling, even.