4 Wisdom Teeth Facts

Your wisdom teeth might be causing you tremendous discomfort, or you may not even know they’re there.

Wisdom Teeth Facts

Your third molars usually begin to come through the gums between the ages of 17 and 25. These are the only teeth to develop later in life — know what to expect from these molars.

They Are the Most Commonly Extracted Teeth

Out of all dental extractions, wisdom tooth removal is the most common type of the procedure. Each year, 10 million are removed. It is considered a rite of passage — the surgery is that common.

You Don’t Have to Get Them Removed

Even though getting these molars removed is almost universally accepted as necessary, it’s not always required. If your third molars develop normally, come in straight and don’t interrupt the position of your other teeth, it’s possible to keep them and avoid the discomfort of surgery.

The only caveat to this is you have to be able to keep them clean. Many oral surgeons recommend removal because since these teeth are positioned so far back in the mouth, it’s hard to brush and floss them adequately. However, if you’re able to keep up with oral hygiene, it’s possible to keep them healthy and intact your entire life.

You Might Not Have Wisdom Teeth

If you’ve been waiting for wisdom teeth to develop and they haven’t, you may belong to the 35 percent of the population who does not have third molars. In fact, researchers think that since modern diets do not require the use of third molars, evolutionary factors may be contributing to the decline of third molar development.

They Can Ruin Orthodontic Treatment

As soon as wisdom teeth start to develop, it’s time to see an oral surgeon, especially if you’ve had orthodontic work. You don’t want all those years of braces to go to waste. While it’s not a guarantee, when wisdom teeth develop improperly or become impacted, they can affect the position of other teeth. The front teeth may move forward, or the neighboring molars may shift. The sooner you have problematic third molars removed, the better.

When Should You Get Them Removed?

If your dentist or oral surgeon believes removal is unavoidable, it’s better to schedule the surgery sooner rather than later, and not just for the sake of your straight smile. As you get older, third molars have more opportunity to implant in the jawbone. It’s a harder, more involved procedure to remove them later in life. When you’re a young adult, the surgery goes smoother and the recovery is easier.

Contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to find out if your wisdom teeth should be removed — schedule a consultation today.