Wisdom teeth are the large molars at the back of your mouth and usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 24
Often, wisdom teeth erupt with no concerns but if there is not enough space for the teeth to grow they can become ‘impacted’ or wedged.
The dentists at Northshore Dental and Oral Health will monitor your wisdom teeth before and if they erupt, for signs like:
- Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the correct position. This can cause food to build up and become trapped.
- Wisdom teeth that don’t have room to come through. This can cause crowding of the neighbouring teeth.
- Wisdom teeth that haven’t erupted properly. This can make it difficult to floss between the crowded teeth.
- Wisdom teeth that have only partially erupted. This can give bacteria a place to enter the gums and cause infections.
- Wisdom teeth that are impacted can cause a cyst. This can cause damage to the roots of nearby teeth and even destroy the jawbone.
Why do we have wisdom teeth?
Many anthropologists believe our wisdom teeth were evolutions answer to our ancestor’s early diet. This diet consisted of course rough food like leaves, roots and nuts. These foods required more chewing power so more teeth were required.
Fast-forward to today’s modern diet of softer foods, and the inventions of utensils like knives and forks have made our wisdom teeth basically non-existent. This resulted in evolutionary biologists to classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs, or functionless body parts.
Why do I need to remove my wisdom teeth?
For patient’s, there’s no ‘correct age’ to have your wisdom teeth removed. However, removing them at a younger age can help speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of complications.
According to the specialists, wisdom teeth removal might be necessary if you experience changes in the area, like:
- Recurrent infection of the soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
- Fluid-filled sacs (cysts)
- Damage to the nearby teeth
- Gum disease
- Extensive tooth decay
The decision to remove your wisdom teeth can be a little tricky so it’s best to talk to your dentist and what’s appropriate for your individual situation.
If you do not remove your wisdom teeth they should still be monitored closely. There can still be a risk of developing complications and problems later on.
We can do the procedure here in the clinic under local anaesthesia and minor sedation. If required, the procedure can be completed under general anaesthetic at a local hospital.
The best way to know if you need your wisdom teeth taken out is to come and visit us at Northshore Dental and Oral Health for an expert option. Call our skilled team today on ph. (07) 5448 7849 or click here.
No, 35% of people won’t even develop their wisdom teeth. But 65% of the population will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted during their lifetime.
Patients that do get their wisdom teeth will usually need them removed to avoid potential problems like swelling or overcrowding.
When impacted wisdom teeth try to erupt, the flap of gum on top can become swollen and infected. The pain from this can often be felt in the ear on the side of the infected tooth.
This can lead to pericoronitis and if left untreated, can spread to the throat or the neck and may even require surgery.
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