Wisdom teeth are not really necessary to humans in the present. They are an atavism, i.e. evolutionary “leftover” features from the times when the first humans lived off a diet of raw meat and roots. These third molars usually come out between the ages of 17 of 21, but some people also get them in their mid twenties to early thirties.
And most of us can live with these extra four teeth just fine. But not everybody is lucky to have a full set of perfectly grown and functioning wisdom teeth. In some cases, your dentist will recommend you to have them removed.
When Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Checked?
Ideally, you should get screened for wisdom teeth growth before they actually come out – when you are around 14-15 years old. A dental X-ray will indicate if they are well formed and positioned correctly.
Some dentists recommend getting the third molars removed as a precaution as soon as they come out. Their reasoning is that, once puberty is completed, the bones become harder and the procedure is more difficult and painful for the patient.
Can You Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?
Although they are not necessary for a correct mastication process (chewing food), wisdom teeth should not be removed as a matter of course if:
- They are fully formed and functional
- They grew in a correct position
- You can eat and speak without difficulties
- You can properly brush and floss them.
However, some people are not so lucky, and their wisdom teeth do not develop properly. These are some of the signs that you should see a wisdom teeth removal Parker dental specialist and consider getting your wisdom teeth removed:
- Incorrect Growth
In some cases, the third molars do not have sufficient space to grow upright. When they grow at a certain angle, they may push against the other teeth and lead to misalignment. In this case, removal of the third molars is necessary to maintain the other teeth in a regular, healthy position.
- You Notice a Growth in the Gum
Sometimes, a sac next to a wisdom tooth fills with liquid, forming a cyst. Left untreated, cysts can damage the jawbone and the roots of the teeth, or even evolve into a tumor and require surgery to remove it. Do not ignore swelling and growths in the gum around wisdom teeth, they are not part of the growth process.
- You Feel Pain and Irritation
Pain of any kind is a signal that something is wrong. This is the only way your body tells you to that you have a problem in a certain area. Thus, you should not ignore pain, redness and irritation around the wisdom teeth. Painkillers will make you stop feeling the pain, but will not solve the underlying problem.
- Your Jaw Is Stiff
If you feel difficulty in opening and closing your mouth, speaking and eating, it may be because your wisdom teeth are causing a shift in the position of your lower jaw. The sooner you see a doctor, the faster you can solve this issue, which can cause changes in the way you eat and even in the pattern of your speech.
- Sinus Problems
The entire area of the nose, ears and mouth is interconnected by various channels of communication. If you develop sinus problems, the reason for it can be found in your mouth – the wisdom teeth. Once they are removed, you will notice that your sinus issues disappear, as well.