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why do we have to get your wisdom teeth removed

Wisdom teeth (or third molars) are a bit of a mystery. Why would we be given teeth that, in most cases, just end up being pulled? WhileP
Pare something modern humans have come to dread, there is a reason why we have them and it dates back to our early ancestors. A Wise Tooth. Thousands of Years Ago Our earliest ancestors survived on a diet of raw meat, nuts, roots, berries, and leaves. Cro-Magnon man didn t have the luxury of using knives to cut and prepare his food and cooking his meat wasn t even thought of then. Chewing these tough, coarse, and rugged foods required a broader jaw and strong molarsincluding the wisdom teeth. Having all three was vital in order for our ancestors to be able to eat the foods necessary for survival. The larger jaw that was common in our ancestors easily accommodated the wisdom teeth. This allowed them to erupt into the mouth normally. The prevalence of wisdom teeth is one of the ways that anthropologists can determine the age of skeletons. For example, the dates to 1. 6 million years ago. Researchers believe he was eight or nine years old due, in part, to the fact that his third molars had not yet erupted when he died. Fast-forward to todayPand take a look at. More importantly, look at how we prepare the food we eat. We cut, dice, chop, boil, steam, and bake almost everything we eat. All of that food preparation has made eating a pretty easy feat to accomplish. In fact, experts believe that our jaw line has become less broad and smaller over the years due to how food is prepared and consumed. That is the reason why our wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Become a Problem? As modern humans took shape, our overall structure changed. Over time the jawbone became smaller and all 32 teeth could no longer fit properly. As wisdom teeth erupt they can crowd the other teeth and cause problems. Some even become impacted and do not fully erupt because there is no room and they are blocked by other teeth. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, however. At least, they may never erupt beyond the surface. There are a number of reasons for this,. These include the angle and root development of the tooth, it s size, and the space that s available in the jawbone. Even if the wisdom teeth are not causing a problem in terms of spacing, to prevent future issues such as the development of diseases. These teeth are so far back in the mouth that proper care to keep them healthy can be difficult. A dentist may advise a patient to have their wisdom teeth pulled for long-term health. Why Are They Called Wisdom Teeth? Your third molars are the last set of teeth to appear in the mouth. They typically erupt between 17 and 21 years old. Due to this later age, they became known as wisdom teeth. It s likely that the nickname has something to do with the adage or belief that with age comes wisdom. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. 2016. Pogrel MA, et al. White Paper on Third Molar Data. PAmerican Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. 2007. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. What Does It Mean to be Human: KNM-WT 15000. 2016. Dr. Laura Geiger, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana explains how 70-90% of people develop at least one wisdom tooth and why dentists recommend getting your removed, especially in patients between the ages of 15-20 years old.

Dr. Geiger further explains the symptoms of wisdom teeth including, pain around gums and limited opening of the jaw. If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Hi, I m Dr. Geiger with Southeast Family Dental. Today we re gonna be talking about wisdom teeth, or third molars as we call them. We get a lot of questions about them and a lot of people that need to have them taken out. About 70-90% of people develop at least one wisdom tooth, and that comes from multiple sources so the range. And the part that is interesting is that some people develop as little as one wisdom tooth, some unfortunately develop all four, and some do not develop them at all. And the main reason that people need to have them out is that, as we ve gone through evolution, our jaw size has changed and now our jaws are smaller, we don t have enough room for the wisdom teeth to come in. So a lot of times that s why people have to have them taken out. Now just because you don t have enough room for them to come in is not exactly the problem. The problem is, that the wisdom teeth tend to push on the teeth in front of them, causing pressure, which then can lead to having those teeth taken out. So, a lot of times we recommend, especially between the ages of 15 to 20, that patients have them removed. The reason we like to have them removed at that kind of ideal 15 to 20 age range, is that s them time when the wisdom teeth have developed enough to be able to take them out, but also the patient is young enough that you re gonna heal a lot better and a lot faster.

Some people don t have any symptoms with their wisdom teeth. Other people can develop them as they start to come through or try to come through the gum. This can be bad breath, some pain around the gum, limited opening up the jaw. If you have any of those symptoms or experience anything, you need to talk to your dentist. The first thing we re gonna do it take an x-ray called a panoramic x-ray. This takes a good full view of your mouth and lets us see any wisdom teeth that might be developing, whether they re through the gums or not. This also can tell us where they are and whether we think they need to be removed. Not every time does someone have to have them taken out. Depending on, especially the lower wisdom teeth, we have to be very careful of the nerve that runs through the jaw. So again that would be a reason why we take the x-ray. So if you experience any symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth or if your dentist has told you that you have them, again the first thing we re gonna do is take an x-ray. It s really gonna be up to your dentist and maybe an oral surgeon who s gonna determine when and if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. Again, talking to your dentist to be the first and most important thing. Again, this is Laura Geiger with Southeast Family Dental and remember, we can make you smile.

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