Many people have questions about their wisdom teeth, and understandably so. The wisdom teeth are a mysterious part of the anatomy to many. The “third molars” are the less vernacular name for the wisdom teeth.
Why Do We Need Wisdom Teeth Removed?
When our jaws grow, they do not grow large enough for our wisdom teeth to come in – or, the wisdom teeth do come in before other teeth do, and hence overcrowd the mouth. Since our mouths lack the space for all of these teeth, our wisdom teeth often come in at an angle, or they do not fully emerge. Either way, this may cause issues for the rest of the mouth, and for the whole facial structure. Wisdom teeth removal is then required.
If we do not remove the wisdom teeth in time, these third molars can wreak havoc on their next-door neighbors in your mouth, the second molars. We always recommend removing the wisdom teeth before they can damage the second molars. The damage that could occur will often create a need for another, more involved surgery later on, so it is smarter to be pro-active about the situation.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When we say that the wisdom teeth are “impacted,” this means that the teeth have not fully erupted into the mouth because other teeth are blocking (impacting) them. Having those wisdom teeth stuck in the jaw, unable to erupt or emerge, is not a pleasant experience. This impacted state can cause pain, inflammation, and infection.
Why do our jaws not allow room for all 32 teeth to come in straight? This is an excellent question, and one with which our profession has grappled for many years. Our ancestors had all 32 come in, and their jaws developed to a greater extent than our do. Much of this is due to the modern diet, which includes a great deal of soft, nutrient-poor foods. Crunchy, raw foods used to constitute a much larger portion of our diet. We also used to receive nutrients from organ meats, which we largely miss with the modern diet. Liver and other organ meats contain Vitamin K2, which helps our bodies feed calcium into our bones. In today’s society, we consume very little Vitamin K2, and this has led to our jaws developing less fully than they did thousands of years ago.
If you have any questions about wisdom teeth removal, or would like to schedule an appointment, you can reach us at (937) 382-8020. The friendly staff at Wilmington Oral Surgery looks forward to working with you.