Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Woman talking to Dr. Perlman while in dentist chair

Have you already gotten your wisdom teeth removed? Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who never developed wisdom teeth. Or perhaps you have been putting off the procedure. Either way, you’ve probably had some questions about wisdom teeth and their development process. Our team at Elevate Smile Design has compiled some information to help you better understand these enigmatic “third molars”.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a set of molars that typically emerge through your gums from late adolescence into young adulthood (usually from 17-25 years old). They are the last teeth to develop, following baby teeth and the rest of your adult teeth. You can have anywhere from zero to four wisdom teeth, but most people have two wisdom teeth on top and two on bottom.

Why Do Only Some People Develop Them?

It’s theorized that our ancestors required larger jaws and wisdom teeth to properly chew and grind down their coarse diets. However, researchers believe that modern-day humans have evolved past the need for wisdom teeth. This would explain why some people never develop any. For now, the majority of people still develop wisdom teeth and typically need them extracted to prevent issues with pain, bite misalignment, overcrowding, decay, and infection.

How Do I Know If I Have Wisdom Teeth?

We take routine X-rays of your mouth and will notify you when you have developed wisdom teeth and if you need them removed. If you do not get your wisdom teeth extracted before they erupt, they will cause some discomfort (at the very least) as they begin to push through your gums and make themselves visible.

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Even if they are not causing problems, patients often have their wisdom teeth removed due to the high risk of future issues. If you have had orthodontic work done, wisdom teeth removal can protect your teeth from shifting and crowding when they do emerge. Moreover, they may become impacted, meaning your fully developed wisdom teeth are trapped under your gums. Impacted teeth can run into the roots of neighboring teeth and cause nerve damage, decay, and infection!

If your wisdom teeth have been ailing you, we can help. Don’t prolong your pain — get the relief you need at Elevate Smile Design!


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