You’ve probably heard about wisdom teeth before. But there are plenty of interesting facts about these “third molars” that you might not know!
Owensboro and Beaver Dam dentist Dr. Travis Wilson loves helping his patients stay well-informed about their oral health. With this in mind, check out these 7 interesting facts about wisdom teeth:
7 Interesting Facts About Wisdom Teeth
- Wisdom teeth earned their name because they tend to grow in later in life, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. In comparison, our full set of 32 permanent teeth typically grow in by age 12 or 13.
- Wisdom teeth were important for our human ancestors, who had different diets and eating styles. But due to changes in our modern lifestyle and cuisine, wisdom teeth really aren’t necessary anymore.
- Not everyone has wisdom teeth. In fact, some people don’t have any wisdom teeth at all, whereas others might have all four (one in each corner of the mouth).
- Wisdom teeth can either be impacted or erupted. Impacted means they’re stuck beneath the gum line and do not have room to develop normally. Erupted means they are protruding through the gum line.
- Wisdom teeth can lead to issues like crooked or crowded teeth, jaw pain and dysfunction, cysts and tumors beneath the gum line, and increased risk of tooth decay and infection (since tight or crooked teeth can easily trap food and bacteria). Wisdom teeth removal or extraction is recommended by the American Dental Association if any of these issues occur or are at risk for occurring.
- If a person’s wisdom teeth are causing problems (or likely to cause problems) and need to be removed, it’s usually better to schedule the wisdom teeth extraction earlier in life. That’s because it’s generally easier and less painful to remove wisdom teeth when a person is younger.
- If a wisdom tooth isn’t causing any problems, it might not need to be removed. However, it’s important that any remaining wisdom teeth are monitored regularly to ensure no problems develop later on.
Are you or a loved one overdue for a dental exam? If you live near Owensboro or Beaver Dam, KY, contact Dr. Travis Wilson Family Dentistry today at (270).274.3645 to schedule an appointment.