Sometimes, for any number of reasons, teeth must be extracted for the continued health of your mouth. This is most common in the case of wisdom teeth.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Molars are the large grinding teeth found in the back of the mouth. Our first set of these comes in around age six. The second comes along about six years later, at age twelve. Following this pattern, wisdom teeth are the third set of molars which grow in approximately age 17–21. When free of complications, these act just as the other molars do, helping us to chew our food and properly digest it.
Why Do We Have Them?
This is hard to say for sure, but most anthropologists believe that they used to be very important for prehistoric civilizations. Once upon a time, the health and strength of one’s teeth directly correlated to life expectancy. Having an extra molar would reduce wear and tear on the other teeth.
With the rise of large civilizations and increased technology, this extra help became less and less necessary. Our mouths are smaller today simply because they can be. Larger space is no longer genetically critical.
Do I Need to Get Them Removed?
If your wisdom teeth develop and grow with no problems or damage to other teeth, then you can safely leave them in. Unfortunately, this lack of complication is becoming rarer and rarer. Most modern humans just don’t have room in their mouths for any more teeth. This causes the third molars to grow in diagonally or completely sideways. Sometimes the roots even become misshapen, as they attempt to fit into what little space they’ve got.
When this happens, the wisdom teeth aren’t able to grow up through the gums, like they need to. As long as they are stuck, these teeth can collect bacteria and old food, which will cause rot and decay. The wisdom teeth need to come out in order to keep the area clean and prevent overcrowding.
The extraction of wisdom teeth is a highly common, extremely safe procedure. It is also extremely individual. Each person has a unique angle and shape to their teeth. Here at North Star Dentistry, we will take a look at your mouth and make an extraction plan that is specific to you. Give us a call today for a consultation.