Don’t Let Wisdom Teeth Hurt Your Smile
For most of us, wisdom teeth are nothing but trouble.
This is why between 75 and 85 percent of Americans will have their third molars removed.
These teeth arrive later than the rest of our permanent teeth, and when they do some, the best you can hope for is that they don’t mess up what you already have.
More often than not, they aren’t worth keeping around.
When the time comes to give your wisdom teeth the boot, you can call on our dentists if you live in or near Rochester Hills, MI. Wisdom teeth removal is one of the many services that we provide at Hubbard & Leath Dental.
When It’s Wise To Remove Your Teeth
If you’ve read our other blogs, then you know that a vast majority of the time we want you to keep as many teeth as possible. And if you do lose a tooth, we want you to replace it.
But wisdom teeth often are the exception to that rule.
Many people — most people, really — have jaws that are too small to accommodate another these extra teeth.
As a result of this, wisdom teeth often become completely or partially impacted. Completely impacted wisdom teeth remain below the gumline. Even you can’t see them, they can still cause plenty of problems. One of the most common issues is your wisdom teeth can push into nearby teeth. This can cause those teeth to push into the teeth next to them, and so on and so on, like a slow-motion car crash on a crowded street.
Partially impacted wisdom teeth can cause those same problems. The difference is that some of a partially impacted tooth may break the surface of your gum line. This also can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease in the back of your mouth.
Got Room For Four More?
This of wisdom teeth this way. They are like the eighth passenger in a seven-passenger van.
With the right number of people, everyone has a seat and plenty of room to sit. If you try to force another person into that space, it can leave several passengers pushing each other and feeling uncomfortable.
Since you have four wisdom teeth, this can happen at four different locations in your mouth.
The good news is that we can often see this “extra passenger” coming if you visit our office for routine cleanings and examinations. One of the things that we do is take X-rays during your visit.
This way we can see when your wisdom teeth are starting to develop and whether or not they are going to fit. If you have enough room for your wisdom teeth to erupt, and they do not appear to be impacted, then we can leave them in your mouth.
If however, your wisdom teeth look like they are going to cause problems, we can schedule wisdom teeth removal procedure to stop the trouble before it starts.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
That’s not entirely sure. Anthropologists have compared modern humans with our ancient ancestors.
The consensus among these experts is that wisdom teeth are vestigial body parts, like our appendix and our tonsils. They may have served a purpose at some time, but today, we usually only hear about them when someone is having them removed.
There are a few hypotheses about why humans have wisdom teeth.
The first has to do with changes in our anatomy. We know from skeletal records that ancient human ancestors had larger jaws than we do today. This may have allowed their wisdom teeth to erupt without causing any problems.
It’s also possible that our ancestors needed a third set of molars. These are the larger, flatter teeth in the back of our mouths. They provide a grinding surface to break down our food so it can be swallowed and digested more easily. Since our ancestors ate more raw foods, they may have needed the extra power.
Another option is that our ancestors lost teeth, too. At one time, wisdom teeth may have been nature’s way of replacing them.
Prevent Your Problems
The best way to protect against the potential problems created by wisdom teeth is to be consistent about visiting Hubbard & Leath Dental for routine dental checkups. We can monitor any changes in your teeth with visual examinations and X-rays.
If we see that your wisdom teeth are going to be more trouble than they are worth, we can get rid of them before they can stir up trouble.