The wisdom teeth are the last molars to appear. They grow in late adolescence or early adulthood between the years of 18 and 25. However, the teeth germs are present from the age of 11 or 12. There are four of them, two at the top and two at the bottom.
However, in some cases the wisdom teeth can cause certain problems in the jaw so many people today decide to get rid of their wisdom teeth through dental surgery.
Wisdom teeth: what are they?
The last molars on each side of the jaw are called the wisdom teeth. These are the last teeth to appear and they are formed during childhood. Some people have 4 while others don’t have any.
In any cases, when we talk about wisdom teeth, several scenarios can arise:
- They can be embedded in the bone of the jaw and never grow.
- They can be semi-embedded. One part may be visible in the mouth while the other remains under the gum.
- They can erupt. They can grow and take up the available space between the second molar and the rising branch of the mandible.
Today, wisdom teeth are no longer really useful. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors had a diet based on raw meat, roots and nuts. Chewing required a lot of effort and their teeth wore out very quickly. Additional teeth then appeared later on to replace the used molars.
Little by little, the wisdom teeth have diminished in size and the jaw has narrowed. Our diet has also changed a lot since prehistoric times and two molars are enough.
Wisdom teeth: why remove them?
It is not mandatory to extract the wisdom teeth. If they remain in the bone without causing any pain or if they have enough space to push through and emerge in a good position, then the dentist does not intervene.
The teeth will only be extracted in very specific cases:
- When cysts or tumours develop
- To prevent infection when the wisdom tooth is semi-enclosed and partially covered with gingiva
- To create a space as part of an orthodontic treatment
- Wisdom teeth are sometimes angled and their growth can harm the adjacent teeth.
- When wisdom teeth grow too close to the adjacent teeth, this can cause a lack of bone and gum in this area
- When there is tooth decay. Because of their morphology, it is sometimes difficult to treat cavities in the wisdom teeth so it is therefore common to extract them to prevent the risk of recurrence.
Wisdom teeth: how to get treat them
Today, about 25% of people do not have wisdom teeth. Indeed, nowadays, wisdom teeth are no longer useful and they are becoming more and more of a nuisance.
Thus, it is not uncommon to resort to have the wisdom teeth extracted to avoid any discomfort in the jaw such as a shift of teeth as a result of the appearance of wisdom teeth or even to treat a cyst or cavities.