Is it wise to remove your wisdom teeth, even if they aren’t causing you any problems? Since most people will have four wisdom teeth (although some people have can have less or none), this is question that most people will have to ponder at some point.
First of all, it’s important to know what wisdom teeth actually are. They are the third set of molars that will erupt from a person’s gums. They often erupt between the ages of 17-25, although sometimes they don’t erupt at all. Scientists believe that wisdom teeth are a throwback to our prehistoric ancestors’ days, when people had larger jaws for chewing tough plants and meat that could accommodate the extra teeth. Nowadays, most people simply don’t have enough space in their mouth, leading to impacted wisdom teeth.
Most members of the dental community believe that it is best to do the surgery at a young age. This minimizes the chance of the wisdom teeth becoming infected or crowding the other teeth out of alignment. If wisdom teeth are impacted, leaving them in can lead to infection and damage to the surrounding teeth. In some cases, cysts or tumors can form around the roots of the wisdom teeth, leading to damage and infection of the jaw bone. Sometimes, healthy teeth will be lost as a result of leaving the wisdom teeth in too long. Even if the wisdom teeth aren’t causing any pain or discomfort, it is estimated that over 80% of the population will need to have the surgery at some point. In addition, people who have wisdom teeth removed after age 30 tend to have a harder time recovering.
If you still have your wisdom teeth, it is a good idea to have x-rays done to monitor their position. Your dentist will give you his or her professional opinion on whether they need to be removed or not. In the majority of cases, especially when performed earlier on in the patient’s life, the surgery is uncomplicated and the patient can return to work or school within a couple days.