How did wisdom teeth get their name? Do they make you wise? Why are they so problematic for some people? If you have had your wisdom teeth removed, you may have looked like a chipmunk for a few days…but you got to eat lots of ice cream!
Here are some surprising wisdom teeth facts:
Wisdom teeth are the only teeth not formed in the womb.
Thirty-five percent of the population is born without wisdom teeth. Whether our teeth have evolved or culture is responsible is up for debate. But it seems humans no longer need these teeth for survival.
Wisdom teeth are actually called third molars. They got their nickname from the age when they typically grow in. Third molars do not appear until the dental arch becomes larger, around the age of 17-25…a time also referred to as the “age of wisdom.”
According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, an estimated 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed. This can be because the teeth are impacted or because the area is difficult to reach and difficult to clean.
While most people have four wisdom teeth, having more (supernumerary) is possible.
Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. When there isn’t enough room for a tooth to enter the mouth fully, it is called “impacted.” If left in the mouth, the tooth may damage neighboring teeth, or become decayed due to the difficulty in reaching and cleaning it.
The most common consequence of impacted wisdom teeth is periodontal disease.
If wisdom teeth need to be removed, it is best to remove them at a younger age so that periodontal disease does not become a problem.
The removal of your wisdom teeth is a decision that should be made by you in consultation with your dentist. At Williams Lake Smiles, we specialize in the extraction of wisdom teeth. Call our office for a consultation, today, so that we can determine the presence of your or your child’s wisdom teeth and discuss treatment options with you (250) 398-8411.