Wisdom teeth are large molars, the last (third) in a row of molars. They usually do not develop before 18-25 years, but it is normal if they may not appear during whole life. It often happens that wisdom teeth eruption is a painful or even impossible process because due to lack of space in a lower jaw. Up to 80% of young Europeans have problems with breaking through of at least one wisdom tooth.
The lack of space in the jaw is a consequence of the evolution, as human food became much softer, the chewing load naturally decreased, which eventually led to a reduction in the size of the jaws. In comparison with our ancestors, the jaw of a modern human decreased by 10-12 mm. The number of teeth rudiments remained the same.
Often the wisdom teeth grow in different directions. Such an incorrect eruption is called a dystopia, teeth “stuck” in the jaw and not erupted through the gum – impacted teeth, and the delay of eruption – retention. This occurs in 25% of people.
Wisdom teeth – necessary or abundant?
Of course, there is nothing superfluous in the body. For example, tonsils and appendix – for a long time they were considered to be a useless, until it became clear that these organs perform important immune functions in the body. But with the wisdom teeth all is not so unambiguous.
Wisdom teeth, a kind of natural “reserve”, although they do not take much part in chewing food, but, like buffers, restrain the loosening of teeth that carry the basic chewing load. And in the future they can serve as a support for the bridge prosthesis.
However, in order to preserve the wisdom teeth, it is important to take care of them properly: to clean with a special brush, the tip of which goes above the main bristle. Cleaning movements should go from the corner of the mouth to the middle. And right after the tooth erupts completely out of the gum, it needs to be covered with a remineralizing solution that protects against bacteria.
But all this applies only to healthy and level wisdom teeth. If incorrectly located or affected by tooth decay, they need to be removed. And the earlier, the better. If you remove them before the age of 20, while the jaw bone is not yet firm enough, and the recovering process is easier and faster, complications will be less. Therefore, immediately, as soon as wisdom teeth start breaking though, it is necessary to immediately visit your dentist.
Indications to remove wisdom teeth
There are many reasons that many dentists prefer to remove wisdom teeth as soon as possible. Because of the inconvenient location, they are difficult to clean, therefore caries and decay are not uncommon. As access is difficult, it is not easy to properly treat such a tooth. Often, impacted wisdom teeth spread decay to neighboring healthy teeth. In addition, because of the tightness in the jaw, teeth often grow crooked, shifting and damaging their neighbors, scratching the oral mucosa, injuring the gums. And even if wisdom teeth have not erupted at all, they can lead to complications, causing damage to the roots of neighboring teeth and inflammation of gums.
Given all these difficulties and dangers, we can conclude: if the doctor insists on removing the wisdom teeth, it is better to follow the advice.