Wisdom teeth are present in every person. They are located in the back of the mouth and are often referred to as third molars. There four wisdom teeth: two on the upper jaw and two on the bottom jaw. These teeth start to appear in individuals who are between the ages of 17-25.
History of Wisdom Teeth
In modern times, the function of wisdom teeth has become obsolete. This is because our prehistoric ancestors had bigger jaws and consumed tougher foods that caused their front teeth to wear away. The idea was the back teeth would move in and take place of the worn out teeth. But over time, the human diet has become more refined and softer foods are eaten. Because of this dietary change, wisdom teeth have nowhere to grow and oftentimes become impacted.
Why Do They Need Be Removed?
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause many problems to an individual’s teeth. There are six types of impaction: mesial, vertical, bony, soft tissue, distal, and horizontal. Impacted teeth can cause a person pain, discomfort and expose them to various types of infections. It can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay because food can become stuck behind the impacted tooth. These teeth can cause cysts to form and this can result in bone loss and ultimately, compromise the structure of the jaw.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth create openings that let bacteria enter. The bacteria can then spread into the blood vessels and cause further complications and infections. Symptoms of these complications include jaw stiffness, swelling in the affected area, and persistent pain. Therefore, it is important to remove the affected teeth to prevent issues that could worsen progressively. Removing the wisdom teeth during the late teenage years or early 20s is highly recommended by dentists, as older patients will be prone to the development of major irreversible nerve damage in the mouth.
The Removal Procedure
Wisdom teeth removal is not only beneficial but also straightforward. This procedure is an outpatient treatment, so the treated individual can go home as soon as the extraction is completed. After the surgery is completed, the dentist will provide the patient with a detailed list of instructions for postoperative care so that healing with be speedy and optimal. If you are interested in the removal process, speak with the professionals at San Tan Oral Surgery. At our convenient location in Gilbert, AZ, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!