The thought of wisdom tooth often seems scary but that’s not the real story. The human mouth undergoes numerous changes in its lifetime. One major dental one occurs between the ages of 17 and 21, which is the appearance of the third molar. They are often termed as wisdom teeth because they appear at a more mature age.


What is a wisdom tooth?

They are the backmost molars on each row of the teeth and mostly appear between the ages of 17 to 25 years. They are the third molars and it is believed that the ancient humans used them to grind up hard foods that were hard to digest. If the wisdom teeth grow accurately with precise alignment, they are beneficial for chewing and need no extraction. However, on pain or discomfort when they begin to come in, it is prudent to visit the dentist.


When do wisdom teeth require to be removed?

There are numerous reasons to have the wisdom teeth removed before they emerge, but they can only be discovered by a dentist with the help of advanced imaging to assess the standing and health of the incoming wisdom tooth. They require to be removed when they might have a negative impact on the health of the surrounding teeth or the mouth. In most circumstances, the wisdom teeth need to be removed before they erupt to avoid potential crowding difficulties.


Is removing the wisdom tooth a painful process?

The process of wisdom teeth removal is mostly done under anesthetic, so the procedure is not painful at all. But it is prudent to mention that the recovery period after the wisdom teeth removal can be a bit uncomfortable. Swelling, soreness and limited mouth opening can last for a period between 1 to 4 days. The typical recovery period is contingent upon how impactful the incoming wisdom teeth were, how large they were, and how deep were they when they were being extracted.


How much room is adequate?

Some individuals have adequate space in their mouths for their wisdom teeth to pop-up without any difficulty. But when the space is not big enough, they come ‘impacted’, indicating that the molars are trapped under the gumline or the jaw. If there isn’t adequate space, following difficulties can arise:

  • Flossing becomes problematic leading to the build-up of plaque.
  • It can lead to the formation of cyst on or near the tooth causing root damage.
  • Food can get trapped giving bacteria an area to grow
  • Neighboring teeth can get crowded by the wisdom teeth emerging up.


Many individuals don’t have wisdom teeth.

Wisdom tooth development is a matter of genetics and not everyone carries the genes for them. In most cases, dentists have identified that the gene PAX9 plays a vital role in the development of wisdom teeth.


In all cases, wisdom teeth are noteworthy to have been checked out by the dentist to figure out what the best option is. For such a consult, connect with Stephens General Dentistry, where we want to make sure that your oral health and wellness comes above all else!