There’s a lot to know about wisdom teeth. For example, did you know that wisdom teeth are called “third molars”? They normally come through the gums between the ages of 17-21, thus the name “wisdom teeth”. About 85% of people must eventually get them removed. But not everyone has wisdom teeth. The Dental Research Journal states that up to 37% of people are missing one or more of their third molars. Your Canonsburg dentist has all the information you need about these missing wisdom teeth.
Why Do Some People Never Get Their Wisdom Teeth?
Although it is not completely clear why some people don’t develop some or all of their third molars, there are a few leading theories.
The most common may be genetics. If your parents don’t have them, you may not either. Another genetic theory is related to distant ancestors. Ancient ancestors needed a third set of molars to help them consume their rough diet. They also didn’t have the luxury of regular dental cleanings, so extra teeth helped if they began to lose some due to decay, accidents, or old age.
Now, humans tend to eat foods that are easier to eat, and we have modern dental care. They may be adapting to the fact that the third molars are no longer necessary.
Do I Have Wisdom Teeth?
Most people have four, but some just have one. A few people can develop five or more! Keep in mind, just because you don’t see or feel your third molars, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
The majority of people have wisdom teeth, but they will more than likely have to be removed to prevent potential complications. Visit your dentist to find out if you have wisdom teeth and how many–a routine X-ray will easily give that information. Regular dental visits are important, especially for children and young adults, so they can be monitored for future problems. If and when your third molars develop, your dentist will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Often Need to Be Removed?
Some people keep their wisdom teeth for their whole lives without experiencing any problems. But, as stated above, wisdom teeth can cause a problem by becoming stuck (impacted) in the gums.
A third molar that becomes impacted can cause tooth pain, swelling, redness, and infection. It can also cause jaw pain as it tries to break through the gums. If there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth, crowding and pain can result in the surrounding area/teeth. Removal will be necessary.
Removal, while the third molar is still developing and not causing any problems, will be easier than removing it later in the growth process. Your dentist can help track their growth and guide you to the best decision for your oral health and comfort.
There are many interesting things to know about wisdom teeth. Now that you have added to your dental wisdom, you are more informed to make the best choices for your dental health!
About the Author
Dr. Raj’s family and cosmetic practice serves Canonsburg and the surrounding communities. He attended New York University’s College of Dentistry and has also completed his Certificate program in Esthetic and Comprehensive Dentistry. He has his Doctor of Dental Surgery and has years of expertise in wisdom teeth removal. If you are concerned about your wisdom teeth or need an extraction, contact Center One Dental through their website or call (724) 607-8638.