While you might worry that you’re unwise if you don’t have any wisdom teeth, you’re actually pretty lucky. In the minority, it’s estimated that around 35% of the population is born without any of these extra molars.
21 September 2022
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that come through at the back of our mouths. The last of our adult teeth to appear, there are two on the top row and two on the bottom row. These strong back teeth are an evolutionary remnant from humankind’s earlier days. During primitive periods, our diets consisted of much harder materials (like nuts, roots, shells and sinewy meats). The extra molars were required to break apart our meals and chew through these dense foods.
Nowadays, modern humans have the tools and skills to prepare food properly, eliminating the need for the extra help. More often than not, modern wisdom teeth actually have a negative impact on our oral health, growing in ways that risk infection, decay or damage to our other healthy teeth. This is why wisdom teeth removal is an important procedure that should be addressed as soon as possible.
Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?
While you might worry that you’re unwise if you don’t have any wisdom teeth, you’re actually pretty lucky. In the minority, it’s estimated that around 35% of the population is born without any of these extra molars. Many scientists believe in a phenomenon called molar hypodontia, meaning we’re evolving away from the growth of wisdom teeth and will see this number rise in future generations. The rest of the population are born with between 1 and 4 wisdom teeth, usually appearing sometime between the ages of 17 and 21 years old. This is actually where they get their name, due to the fact that, historically, they appear around the age we’re heading off to university and broadening our minds for a “wiser” life.
Why Do They Need To Come Out?
The main issue is usually space. Our modern mouths simply aren’t equipped to house them. Not all wisdom teeth do need to come out, though, it will depend completely on your specific situation. Upon inspection of an x-ray, your dentist will be able to determine the best course of action. In most cases, wisdom teeth will grow in at an odd angle. This can severely damage the adjacent teeth and cause a whole range of issues associated with overcrowding. Wisdom teeth that are unable to break through the surface at all are referred to as impacted, and will require surgical removal. It’s generally best to remove wisdom teeth early on to prevent all of these sorts of issues.
Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Need To Come Out
If you’re concerned about the possibility of wisdom teeth presenting themselves or think yours might require dental intervention, there are a few key signs to look out for. These include:
- Pain At The Back Of Your Mouth
Probably the most common sign, a dull ache, throb or increased sensitivity in the back corners of your mouth is often due to wisdom teeth. This can be constant or intermittent pain.
- Inflammation And Swelling
Tooth eruption can cause the affected area of the gums to appear red and tender. This can make brushing quite painful and may even lead to bleeding.
- Sore Jaw
Your mouth may feel hard to fully open or close. The emergence of wisdom teeth will often affect the movement of your jaw bones when chewing food or even speaking.
Pain may radiate from the jaw area all the way up to your ears and the top of your head. The nerves in your head are all closely grouped together, so oral issues can often also affect your ears and sinus.
Wisdom Teeth Removal At Innovative Dental
While there’s not much you can do to avoid wisdom teeth, there are many solutions available. If you’re looking for a safe, affordable and effective solution to your wisdom teeth pain, look no further than Innovative Dental Moonee Ponds. We provide a range of comprehensive dental services, including wisdom teeth removal.
For more information, contact us today.