Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed? Here’s A Look
Growth brings along a lot of questions, including “Do wisdom teeth need to be removed?” The answer isn’t always as straightforward as it seems.
A normal adult mouth has 32 teeth, which (except for wisdom teeth) have erupted into place by about age 13. The human teeth function to mechanically break down items of food by cutting and crushing them in preparation for swallowing and digesting. Humans have four types of teeth: Incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. The incisors cut the food, the canines tear the food, and the molars and premolars crush the food.
The roots of teeth are embedded in the maxilla (upper jaw) or the mandible (lower jaw) and are covered by gums. Teeth are made of multiple tissues of varying density and hardness the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties are called wisdom teeth.
Are They Worth Having?
These teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth if they’re healthy and properly aligned. But more often, they are misaligned and require removal. There are certain myths related to wisdom teeth in Asia that is a person’s intelligence is completed once a person’s wisdom teeth are present. However, science has never proven such myths! A person whose wisdom tooth is coming to surface may not have any symptoms. On the other hand, they may have severe pain and difficulty eating and talking.
When wisdom teeth are misaligned, they may be positioned at various angles in the jaw. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. Wisdom teeth can also be impacted if they are enclosed within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum. Partial eruption of the wisdom teeth allows an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, or difficult breathing.
Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed? Maybe Not?
Dental experts don’t always agree that wisdom teeth need to be removed. Some suggest they should be left unless they’re causing problems and pain. However, others suggest taking them out because they only present risks, not benefits. The decision should come from you and your dentist collaborative discussion. If they’re causing significant pain or damage to neighboring teeth, they need to go.
There are still many unanswered questions about wisdom teeth. This is one of the reasons why even the experts don’t always agree what to do about them. Some dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth no matter what, even if they aren’t causing any problems. This perspective is based on the fact that wisdom teeth will usually end up causing problems in the long run.
Another argument is that we simply no longer need wisdom teeth to function. Wisdom teeth often do not come in or they only partially break through the gum. Up to 80% of young people in Europe have at least one wisdom tooth that hasn’t broken through. This is more common in the lower jaw than it is in the upper jaw. The reason is usually that there isn’t enough room in the jaw.
Time Brings Changes
Evolution has made adjustments to our jawbone size throughout human history. The jaws of modern human beings are smaller when compared to their ancestors. This presents a range of problems when wisdom teeth try to erupt into place. They often become blocked by other teeth and grow inside the jaw.
If the wisdom tooth erupts partially, it tends to create hard to reach area where bacteria can accumulate resulting in severe infections of the surrounding tissues and gums.
When wisdom teeth remain fully impacted under the gum line, they may form cyst or tumor that can damage the jawbone and teeth if left unaddressed. Hence most people undergo wisdom teeth removal to prevent themselves from the potential problems which may arise.
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