3 Things to Understand About Wisdom Teeth

Oct. 15, 2015

Tooth and Dental Tools

Learn All About Wisdom Teeth!

Let’s start with some simple facts about your wisdom teeth that you may already know. Your wisdom teeth are a kind of molar, which are the large teeth in the back of your mouth with the flat surface, these are the teeth that you use to chew, and you have two on each side. Your wisdom teeth are your (third set of molars), you have two on the top and two on the bottom.

Over the course of the past few hundred years wisdom teeth have basically become useless. So, why do we even have wisdom teeth? It’s all evolutionary my dear Watson, our ancestors had a larger jaw and the wisdom teeth or third molars as they are sometimes called could easily accommodate the extra teeth.

Wisdom teeth were necessary for our ancestors’ survival, the food they ate was generally tough to chew. The food we consume now is much softer; we chop it, dice it, and cook it making the job of chewing much easier on our teeth.

Over time, our oral cavities have gotten smaller, and in most cases cannot accommodate the wisdom teeth. Yet, they continue to be a part of our oral cavity’s anatomy.

Reasons Why Wisdom Teeth Removed

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 85% of people will eventually need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. Here are a few of the primary reasons why wisdom teeth may need to be extracted:

  1. Pain
  2. Wisdom teeth can cause pain for several reasons, as your wisdom teeth begin to erupt through the skin it is usually painful, you have a sharp tooth trying to poke through tissue and soft skin, and that hurts.

  3. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  4. Impacted wisdom teeth do not always cause problems, it’s when they become infected, that they start to cause problems with for your other teeth, or they become too painful, they generally need to be extracted. Impacted wisdom teeth are usually sore, red, inflamed, your gums may be tender or they may bleed, you may experience sharp to dull pain in your jaw, or trouble opening your mouth. You may only have one impacted tooth or they may all be impacted.

  5. Infected Wisdom Teeth
  6. An infection of a wisdom tooth or teeth, is called Pericoronitis, it can be an extremely painful condition. Pericoronitis occurs when the wisdom tooth partially erupts through the gum and there is a small opening where bacteria can enter the area surrounding the tooth.

Pericoronitis has similar symptoms to an impacted wisdom tooth, it can also cause pus to leak from your gums, and if the infection is severe enough it can cause a fever. Pericoronitis occurs when the wisdom tooth partially erupts through the gum and there is a small opening where bacteria can enter the area around the tooth.

If you have questions about wisdom teeth, or if you suspect yours may need to be taken out soon – contact us today!