Wisdom Teeth. What do you know about them, other than they are large molars, at the very back of your mouth that are usually removed to make space for other teeth? Maybe you still have yours…and maybe you are thinking about having them removed. In that event, here are eight interesting facts about wisdom teeth:
- Wisdom teeth are actually called the 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” (interesting in and of itself).
- Wisdom teeth are the only teeth that are 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 we no longer need these teeth for survival.
- While most people have four wisdom teeth, having more (supernumerary) or less (hypodontia) is possible.
- The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons estimates that 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed. This can be because the teeth are “impacted” (deep under the gum tissue, crowded and unable to surface) or because the area is difficult to reach and difficult to clean.
- Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.If left in the mouth, an impacted wisdom tooth may damage neighboring teeth or become decayed due to the difficulty in reaching and cleaning that area of the mouth and gums.
- The most common and serious consequence of impacted wisdom teeth is gum (periodontal) disease which can affect your general health and the health of your mouth and gums.
- If wisdom teeth need to be removed, it is best to remove them at a younger age.
Do you have questions about you or your child’s wisdom teeth? Call, today, for a consultation appointment: (561) 627-9000.