Are Wisdom Teeth Necessary for Chewing?

Are Wisdom Teeth Necessary for Chewing? from Wilson Oral Surgery in Arroyo Grande, CAYou may have many questions about wisdom teeth and whether you should ask a dentist to remove them. This third set of molars can cause problems when they begin to erupt in the back of the mouth. While not everyone needs to have surgery to have them extracted, it may be good for your oral health and cosmetically. You should not have to worry because these teeth do not perform a vital role in your dental wellness or other needs.

An overview of wisdom teeth

Around age 12 or 13, people will get a second set of molars. The third set of molars come in later, sometimes when a person is as old as 25. These teeth do not often have much room to erupt, which can cause problems for them and adjacent teeth. A wisdom tooth may emerge at an odd angle, making it misaligned and crooked. It might push up against another tooth, causing pain and discomfort. These teeth are also difficult to reach with a toothbrush and flossing, leading to increased risks of having decay and infections.

A history of the third molars

In many cases, people have two wisdom teeth on the top row and two on the bottom. But other people will have fewer or none of these teeth. In previous centuries and ancient times, the human diet consisted of roots and tough meat. These foods had a tendency to wear down teeth, so the third set of molars were essential.

Modern-day needs of these teeth

As time has gone on, wisdom teeth have served less of a purpose in chewing. People prepare food differently. The food people eat has also changed. The meals people eat are softer and less difficult to chew than they were in ancient and more distant times. Without this third set of molars, it is not difficult to chew food properly and without challenges.

When and why dental professionals remove these teeth

By a patient’s mid-teenage years, the dentist will start to review how the wisdom teeth are developing. The dentist will examine the patient and take X-rays. The dentist can then determine whether the teeth will present difficulties and discomfort in the patient’s mouth. Many dentists recommend that extraction occurs before age 20 and before the teeth erupt. Doing so at this point prevents the person from suffering the effects of having the third molars emerge.

The process

A dentist will remove wisdom teeth. If the teeth have not erupted, the dentist will likely use general anesthesia to put the patient to sleep during the procedure. The dentist cuts into the gums and removes the bone surrounding the wisdom tooth. After breaking it into pieces, the dentist will remove the tooth. Then, the dentist stitches the wound and controls the bleeding. The recovery process can take several days to a couple of weeks.

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Removal may be right for you

If your wisdom teeth do not have enough room to erupt, your dentist may recommend removing them. These teeth are not vital for chewing. They can, however, cause pain and discomfort. Talk to your dentist today about whether it makes sense for you to do this.

Request an appointment or call Wilson Oral Surgery at 805-476-2567 for an appointment in our Arroyo Grande office.

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