Do You Need Wisdom Teeth?
Do you still have your wisdom teeth? Contrary to the name, these teeth do not add to your wisdom or intelligence in any way. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that emerge to complete a full set of adult teeth. Many patients are surprised to learn that wisdom teeth do not typically erupt until the late teen years, typically between the ages of 17 and 21. It is said that wisdom teeth were named due to the age the teeth erupt.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth do not serve the same purpose they did for our ancestors from long ago. Wisdom teeth were needed to properly chew raw and undercooked meat and vegetables as well as fruits and nuts. Over time, our eating habits and cooking methods have changed, eliminating the need for wisdom teeth to be used for their intended purpose. In fact, our jaw shape has also changed over the years, making wisdom teeth difficult to fit properly in many adult mouths.
Is It Safe to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Unfortunately, we see a number of patients with wisdom teeth that have grown in incorrectly, sometimes never fully emerging at all. Without dental intervention, wisdom teeth that do not fit in the mouth properly or do not fully emerge can lead to a number of problems, such as extreme discomfort, severe decay, infection, gum disease and even cause damage to the surrounding teeth. Due to these many reasons, it is very common for late teens and adults to have their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth are the only teeth that do not need to be replaced once removed.
If your wisdom teeth are coming in and causing any discomfort, please reach out to our office located in Phoenix, AZ to schedule an appointment. We want to be sure your teeth have enough room to fully emerge and talk to you about other measures that may need to be taken if not. We want you to have a happy and healthy mouth!