What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that erupt from the ages of 17-21. Wisdom teeth that have not erupted from the age of 25 are not expected to erupt at all. They are a peculiar aspect of dentistry, and in a similar way to the appendix, have become obsolete due to evolution, known as human vestigiality. This is because as human diets became softer and more refined, the need for a powerful jaw declined. Equally, with the evolution of primates into homo sapiens, the jaw itself has become smaller and therefore had less room for teeth.

A wisdom tooth that does not surface is called an impacted wisdom tooth and can affect over 70% of the population in some parts of the world. There can be varying degrees of dental avulsion, from mild discomfort to severe risks to oral health.

Tooth eruptions

The emergence of teeth is called an “eruption”, and it is still unknown what triggers a tooth to begin moving. As there is limited space in the mouth for wisdom teeth, if an impacted wisdom tooth is emerging at an angle, it can begin to erupt under or against your second molars, and become conflicted with the inferior alveolar nerve, which can cause further complications.

Aside from being a risk to your teeth, it can also be extremely painful, due to the amount of pressure building in your teeth. In more serious cases, the wisdom tooth will be removed with surgery, as it is not necessary for proper oral function.

Emergency Dentistry

Emergency dentistry may be necessary if you are experiencing an extreme amount of pain. Many dental practices such as Spa Dental Sydney CBD will have an emergency dental department, so that you will be able to quickly get in touch with a dentist and be seen as soon as possible. Treating your pain will be the priority, and then the problem can be assessed, and attempted to be treated on the same day.

Hyperdontia and Wisdom teeth

As an impacted wisdom tooth can be caused by hyperdontia. Hyperdontia is the symptom of having too many teeth, meaning that the teeth can become crowded, and therefore crooked as they all try to grow into the same spaces. As a wisdom tooth becomes impacted often due to a lack of space, the likelihood of an impacted wisdom tooth for those patients with hyperdontia is extremely high.

Therefore, it is important to have check-ups frequently, and early dental consultations are important, as it can be determined whether the wisdom teeth will become impacted or not. Surgery for the removal of your wisdom tooth or teeth can be done, however it is a complex surgical procedure, as there are important nerves that run close to the wisdom teeth, which if severed can have serious complications. Therefore, treatments such as braces can be important early on, as they can help your teeth align more effectively, and help the wisdom teeth erupt with as little complications as possible.

Andy