Wisdom teeth have commonly been recommended to be removed in your young adult years since the late eighteenth century when general anesthesia became available. But what are your wisdom teeth, why do you have to remove them, and should you remove them?
M Dental is a dental clinic with offices in Mississauga and Scarborough that provides exceptional dental care for people of all ages, including cosmetic dentistry and wisdom teeth removal services. Our mission is to help you take care of your teeth so that they will last your entire life. Below, we’ll take a look at wisdom teeth and whether you should have them removed or not. Contact us today to learn more!
What Are Your Wisdom Teeth?
The clinical name for your wisdom teeth is third molars. These teeth are the last permanent adult teeth to come in, and if you have all of them, one will emerge on each side at the back of your mouth.
Why Do You Have Wisdom Teeth?
Scientists are not entirely sure why we have a third set of molars. However, many speculate that it has to do with our diets thousands of years ago. Thousands of years ago, humans ate a lot of coarse, rough foods that were not cooked and processed like they are today. We ate a lot of grains, leaves, nuts, and meat, which wore our teeth down. With modern foods, we just don’t put as much wear on our teeth as we did then, so our wisdom teeth have become what are known as vestigial organs, or body parts that no longer are needed. Your appendix is another of these. Furthermore, thousands of years ago, it is believed that humans’ skulls were larger, which could accommodate these extra teeth.
Not everyone gets wisdom teeth. In fact, in about 35% of the population, they don’t get wisdom teeth at all. Some people only get one or two.
History of Wisdom Teeth Removal
For centuries, people paid little mind to their teeth until they hurt. No one really brushed their teeth, and beyond the removal of food in-between teeth when it became annoying, teeth were neglected. Thus, throughout history, many people lost their teeth before they died. George Washington is perhaps one of the most famous people for having had tooth problems his entire life. From a relatively young age, he had to have his first tooth extraction. When he was sworn in as the first President of the United States in 1789, he had only one tooth remaining. He receives his first pair of dentures that very same year.
It’s interesting to note that it wasn’t until modern times that wisdom teeth became a problem as our foods changed. With modern anesthesia, this process, while not pleasant as any surgery goes, is usually without complications. The younger you are when you have your wisdom teeth removed, the easier the recovery process will be since younger people heal easier than older adults.
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?
If you do have wisdom teeth, oftentimes there is just not enough room in your jaw for the wisdom teeth to come in. This results in what is known as impacted teeth, or teeth that either don’t erupt or only partially erupt. Partially erupted teeth can trap food, which can cause an infection. Another problem with wisdom teeth is that they often get cavities because they are so far back in the mouth that people have a hard time reaching them.
Should You Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
M Dental in Mississauga notes that many dentists usually recommend the removal of wisdom teeth as a young adult. The reasoning behind this is that it’s extremely hard to predict if you will have problems later on down the road from your wisdom teeth. Many people have their wisdom teeth in and have no problems. However, odds are that your wisdom teeth will cause problems on down the road, so dentists reason that it’s better to preemptively handle the problem than wait until something more serious occurs because of your wisdom teeth. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons estimate that about 85% of those who have wisdom teeth will need to have them removed at some point in their lives.
M Dental recommends that if you are debating about whether wisdom teeth removal is right for you, to visit your local dentist and have an examination. Your dentist will most likely take X-rays so he or she can see what’s going on with your bones and jaws in your mouth and then discuss your options and recommendations based on your particular situation.
CHOOSE M DENTAL FOR ALL OF YOUR DENTAL CARE NEEDS
M Dental is a local and cosmetic dentist who has two dental offices to conveniently serve you, one in Mississauga and one in Scarborough. Our mission is to help you have stellar oral health and a beautiful smile. We offer a wide variety of dental services to better serve you, from your regular dental check-ups and cleanings to root canal treatments and wisdom teeth removal. We offer free consultations or second opinions if you are trying to decide on dental treatment options for you. We are always accepting new patients, and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our dental clinic. If you are looking for a dentist for the entire family and a dentist who cares about your oral health, give us a call today!