Because about 65% of the population develops a set of wisdom teeth around age 17 to 25, it’s important that we know as much as possible about wisdom teeth.
What should I know about wisdom teeth?
- Your third molars must be removed 85% of the time due to being problematic; however, some lucky folks can keep them as long as they aren’t affecting eating, speaking, how the other pre-existing teeth are arranged, and of course, as long as the wisdom teeth are correctly grown in.
- Most people who do develop wisdom teeth develop all four; however, some may develop less than four wisdom teeth.
- Wisdom teeth develop once the dental arch gets larger or “matures,” which as mentioned, doesn’t occur until around age 17 to 25 – Usually 17-21 on average.
- When one needs to have their wisdom teeth removed depends primarily on the individual, how far along their wisdom teeth have developed, and how severely the wisdom teeth are negatively affecting the mouth.
- Before anesthesia, very few folks had their wisdom teeth removed. However, thanks to anesthesia, we can have our third molars removed and won’t remember or feel anything during the procedure. This is comforting for many.
- Wisdom teeth aren’t particularly important. We can function just fine without them. In fact, wisdom teeth typically cause more harm than good. However, after wisdom tooth removal is completed and healed, problems initially caused from the wisdom teeth are gone, and the mouth is back to normal as expected.
- Most who develop wisdom teeth have at least one of their wisdom teeth impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth means that the wisdom tooth doesn’t have enough room to fully develop, causing problems in the mouth. 5% of these impacted teeth damage the roots of other teeth in the mouth.
- Failing to have impacted wisdom teeth removed could increase one’s chances of developing a cyst or tumor, which could in turn damage nerves or bone. In severe cases, an infection could occur which can cause heart or kidney problems overtime if not treated soon.
- The eruption of wisdom teeth can cause spacing problems in the mouth, making brushing and flossing more difficult.
- Fully erupted wisdom teeth are easier and quicker to remove, typically requiring local anesthesia and likely a sedative.
- Sucking, rinsing, spitting, or eating hard/chewy foods soon after a wisdom tooth removal procedure could harm the healing process post-surgery. It’s important to comply with your oral surgeon’s suggestions to ensure a fast healing process.
- Dental professionals can x-ray the mouth and see whether or not you will develop wisdom teeth in the very near future.