Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed – What You Need To Know

Wisdom Teeth Removed

In this article we will explain to you “why are wisdom teeth removed” and give you all the information you need on wisdom teeth. The third and last set of molars, commonly known by their nickname “wisdom teeth”, usually erupt long after the tooth fairy has left her last gift under your pillow. Most people get them between the age of 17 and 25 – the period of human life called “The Age of Wisdom”.

Anthropologists explain third molar eruption with the early humans’ rough diet, including nuts, roots, meat, etc. The lack of whatever kitchen gadgets or tools of modern civilization, such as the microwave oven, made our predecessors depend totally on their teeth. This rough diet of the primitive humans resulted in excessive wear; so, wisdom teeth, erupting midway in lifetime, compensated for the worn or missing teeth.

Modern lifestyle and our softer diet, along with the outstanding achievements in orthodontics over the recent decades, led to a number of significant evolutionary changes. These changes transformed the third molars into function-less teeth, and some evolutionary biologists classified them as “vestigial organs”.

The number of wisdom teeth in one’s mouth may vary from one to four. However, some people have never got wisdom teeth at all, while others (very few indeed) get more than four.

Regardless of whether you have four wisdom teeth or less, these may cause you serious problems. As human jaws became smaller throughout the millennia of evolution, the third molars often do not have enough space to develop and align in a proper manner. Thus, wisdom teeth become impacted or blocked by the adjacent teeth.

Also, when the teeth erupt partially, plague and debris can get entrapped in the soft tissue surrounding them, causing gum disease and tooth decay. These problems are usually accompanied by severe wisdom teeth pain, swelling and jaw stiffness. Poor alignment of the third molars may cause other troubles as well, including infection and the formation of cysts.

To avoid all mentioned complications, most dentists strongly recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth removed. They make it a point that the extraction is to be done when the patient is younger, with danger of whatever complications during surgery being not as great. The extraction of wisdom teeth is typically performed by an oral surgeon under local anesthesia.

The post-surgical recovery depends mainly on the extent of the pre-removal complications and on the patient’s age. Also, females who take contraceptive pills are at a higher risk of developing dry socket (a common post-surgical complication) because of the higher levels of estrogen. These women should undergo wisdom teeth extraction during the last week of their menstrual cycle when the estrogen levels are lower.

Regardless of whether you are a male or a female, you have to avoid smoking, drinking through a straw, and excessive mouth rinsing after the surgery

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