Anyone who has nursed a teething baby will know, having new teeth coming through is painful. Luckily, for most of us, we are too young to remember, but unluckily for some of us, there’s a chance we’ll have to go through it again if our adult wisdom teeth come through later in life.
What are adult wisdom teeth?
Mother nature in her wisdom has decided that we are only allowed 2 sets of teeth in our lifetime.
The first set we call our “baby teeth”, and they start to appear around 6 months, and generally have all come through by the age of three.
Unfortunately, they don’t last very long, and by age of six or seven, they start to fall out, making room for our second and final set of teeth, our “adult teeth”.
This is often it for most people, but for some, there’s a third stage. Another set of molars can appear, and it typically happens between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one, around the time a person gains maturity, and they are called wisdom teeth.
Why do adult wisdom teeth come through so late?
No one is entirely sure why wisdom teeth come through at such a late age, but there are many theories.
One is that they are a vestigial, ie not needed anymore. Like an appendix, wisdom teeth are a left-over from evolution, from a time when we needed to use our molars more to grind coarse, rougher food.
What we do know is that wisdom teeth have caused problems for mankind going back millennia, even with Aristotle writing about them!
Why do adult wisdom teeth cause problems?
In simple terms, we don’t have enough room in our jaws for more teeth. This again is an evolutionary thing; our jaws used to be bigger.
When wisdom teeth eventually do come through, they have to push their way past the teeth already there, and this can cause a lot of pain.
Problems may arise when they erupt “off course”, growing out sideways, into other teeth, or even get stuck under the gum. If this happens it can lead to swelling, severe pain and infection.
Unfortunately, there is no “wait and see” when it comes to wisdom teeth. They’ll continue to grow and cause you problems unless you do something about it.
What can be done about wisdom teeth?
Wisdom tooth removal is a common procedure in dentistry.
If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, are decayed, or affecting other teeth, then it’s a good idea to come see us.
With years of experience, we can help get your life back on track with the minimum amount of discomfort and downtime.
It is however considered serious dental work, so expect some pain and swelling after treatment. You won’t be able to chew properly until the swelling has gone down, so make sure to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.
Do all adult wisdom teeth need to be removed?
A lot of people have wisdom teeth and don’t even know it, because they’re still buried in their jaws. Some people have one wisdom tooth come through, while others will have all four erupt, while some people won’t even have any to begin with!
It completely depends on the individual. It all comes down to you and your oral health. If you do have wisdom teeth coming through, then you don’t necessarily have to have them extracted, but if they start to hurt, then it may be the best course of action.
The only way to tell is to make an appointment with a dentist and ask their expert opinion.
The experts know what to do about your wisdom teeth
If you come to us to have your wisdom teeth extracted, you won’t have to worry about pain or anxiety. We offer the option of a dental sedation or a general anaesthetic to help relax you and make the procedure as pain free as possible.
Wisdom tooth removal is a common treatment and should be scheduled at the first moment of discomfort to avoid further issues and complications.
We have a state-of-the-art, 3D X-ray scanner that can accurately show us the anatomy and position of the wisdom teeth. This means we can see exactly what’s going on, and we’re not guessing how much they’re impacting other teeth or how close they are to the nerve.
We strive to provide you with dental care that is innovative, comprehensive and comfortable in a safe and caring environment.
Call us today if you would like to know more about our wisdom tooth treatment plans, or have any questions about how we can help.