What To Know About Wisdom Teeth
We all know that we are born without teeth and our baby teeth begin to emerge just before we turn one. Baby teeth continue to emerge until they begin to fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth. We are all familiar with this process, and many of us eagerly awaited the arrival of the tooth fairy when those magical first few teeth began to fall out. Did you know that there are teeth that emerge into adulthood? Wisdom teeth, or the proper term “third molars”, typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. Many of our patients no longer have their wisdom teeth or will need to have them removed at some point.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
The frequent removal or lack of wisdom teeth leads us to ask why we even have them in the first place. Wisdom teeth were beneficial to our ancestors who relied on a diet that consisted of raw and undercooked meat as well as fruits and vegetables. Once we began cutting and cooking our food, we no longer required the same use of our teeth. Because our ancestors used their wisdom teeth to eat, their jaws were larger and more pronounced to accommodate these extra molars.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Get Removed Today?
Although wisdom teeth were a great asset to our ancestors, today many patients need to have theirs removed. Often, our jaws can no longer accommodate the teeth as they start growing in. Essentially, your mouth has a “first come first serve” policy. The wisdom teeth are the last to join the party, so sometimes they have to come out. Other patients may have wisdom teeth that are impacted, meaning they do not have enough room to grow in properly, so they remain trapped in the jawbone and need to be surgically removed.
If your wisdom teeth are coming in and causing any discomfort, please reach out to our office located in Canandaigua, NY to schedule an appointment. We want to be sure your teeth have enough room to fully emerge and talk to you about other measures that may need to be taken if not. We want you to have a happy and healthy mouth!