We may find evolution a bit strange and awesome at the same time. Due to this incredible phenomenon adaptation occurs, which consequently removes all the unnecessary parts of the body. This happens because they are no longer in use and are therefore, not needed and eliminated.
Wisdom teeth-everyone has heard of these and dread the day that they have to be removed. However, few people actually know what they are and why they need to be taken out. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you ignored your dentist’s advice and simply let your wisdom teeth keep growing? If so, keep reading to find out.
What are wisdom teeth? Despite the name, wisdom teeth neither make you wise nor help you to become a smarter person. Wisdom teeth are called this because the appearance tends to coincide with age at which teenagers mature into adults (between the ages of 17 and 25). These teeth are simply a third set of molar teeth, which have an annoying tendency to cause nothing but problems.
In the past about several million years ago, people had chewing surfaces about twice the area of ours today. Changes to our teeth as humans evolved and this lines up with advancements in diet and food preparation techniques. First, by the time Homo erectus, stone tools for pounding and cooking would have softened wild foods, making chewing easier and third molars less critical.
Wisdom teeth greatly increased chewing efficiency and they were extremely useful for our ancestors to eat hard raw meat. Thus, evolution is removing the wisdom teeth, the back teeth of our mouth as we don’t use them anymore. In a lot of our younger generation, wisdom teeth are not present at all, while in some people they get impacted.
Wisdom teeth get impacted because they do not have enough space to emerge into the mouth, mostly due to the small arch. Other possible reasons for wisdom teeth impaction include the wrong positioning of the teeth and the wrong erupting pathways.
If you experience no pain or obvious complications with the arrival of your wisdom teeth, your future dental hygiene may still be at risk. More than likely, space is at a minimum, and it can be difficult to properly brush and floss around a third molar where it is too far back in the mouth to reach proper. Limited space and their hard-to-reach location make these teeth prime targets for cavities and plaque buildup.
While it is possible to experience no issues with these molars, most people will suffer from related complications. Problems mostly occur when a tooth becomes impacted. An impacted tooth is a tooth that is either fully or partially covered by the gums or bone.
To fully understand the benefits of wisdom teeth removal, it helps to first understand the problems they can cause. Wisdom teeth that are painless and seemingly unobtrusive are easy to ignore, but even asymptomatic molars can wreak havoc on your gums and lead to periodontal disease. The following side effects are just a few of the common complications associated with impacted teeth.
- Pain in the jaw
- Swelling in the jaw
- Inflamed and irritated gums
- Bleeding gums
- Foul-smelling breath
- Damage to surrounding structures
- Loss of gums and/or bone
Wisdom teeth should be extracted to resolve the above symptoms before they worsen. If not treated the infections can give rise to caries in the nearby teeth and spread into the body causing serious life-threatening conditions. Wisdom tooth removal has become an extremely common procedure and it can be done with little to no risk. The benefit of removal thereof, will have many times more benefits than the potential problems that they cause.