Why Are They Called “Wisdom” Teeth?

What You Should Know According to the Experts at Dental City, Grove Dental Downers and Others

Third molars are also referred to as wisdom teeth, or teeth of wisdom, but why do we use this reference? Apparently, we started using this term around the  beginning in the 17th century. But we still don’t know why we call them “Wisdom” so we decided to go ask around. Upon asking a few specialists at Grove Dental Downers Grove Clinic, GHI Dental Specialists, Dental Concepts Clinic and several of our Endodontics Associates, we came to the following conclusion.


The Story Behind Third Molars


The guys at Grove Dental Downers told us that third molars appear much later than other teeth; this usually occurs to people when they reach the ages of 17 to 25. The dentists at Dental Concepts  believe that the  population began to call them wisdom teeth because they appear so late in life, at an age when a person matures into adulthood and is wiser. Well, we have to admit, we snickered a little at this one, after all, who is really mature at 25.


“It’s What Science Says That’s Important,” says the doctor at GHI

Science tends to agree with this line of thinking think endodontic specialists. This is true to a certain   extent because third molars do erupt when a person is older (therefore wiser?). Nonetheless, recent studies show that the brain continues to grow right up  until a person reaches the age of 25, which means that our ancestors were not so far off the mark. This could mean that the eruption of wisdom teeth is a sign that  the childhood years have passed and given way to adulthood, a time when we may have needed more teeth to compensate for our prior bad habits.


Do We Need Third Molars?

Our endodontics associates say, “probably not.” We reach full adulthood by the age of 25,An age where we become more mature and wiser. That’s why these late arrivers were named wisdom teeth. However, people who deal with an impacted or infected wisdom  know that these eruptions may not feel  right. The development of the third molars is thought to be a response to our ancestors need  for  stronger chewing abilities. With a diet consisting of hard and rough foods, there was considerable wear and damage to teeth over time. The arrival of wisdom teeth later in life was a welcome improvement on chewing function. “Today, third molars often  come with more problems than benefits,” say the dentists at  Grove Dental Downers Grove.


The Current Situation According to Lakeside Dental

Some people received the growth of all four wisdom teeth, while others may only have a few or none at all. These teeth can grow in straight and not cause any problems with others, or they can be impacted, or grow in crooked. when wisdom teeth grow in straight, they do not need to be removed. In some cases, your dentist may choose to remove your wisdom teeth anyway to prevent decay from forming between wisdom teeth and the molar beside it.

Wisdom teeth that do not erupt properly are called impacted. This is a soft tissue infection which means the tooth is below the gum area and can not erupt easily. “A complete or partial bony impaction refers to a tooth that is partially obstructed by the jaw and gum,” suggest the doctors at GDDG.  Your dentist will want to  remove impacted wisdom teeth because they are at risk of infection and pericoronitis,  a condition that occurs when bacterial plaque buildup gets painful and dangerous to other parts of the body.

Endodontic specialists suggest that when bacteria and plaque get into the gum flap covering the wisdom tooth, it can cause an abscess. And our associates at GHI dental agree with these findings. An abscess is painful and dangerous so it’s important that you call your dentist if you experience pain during the eruption of your wisdom teeth. Your dentist or orthodontist will also suggest removing your wisdom teeth when the x-rays show that their eruption will be detrimental to teeth alignment and bite.


Do Not Be Frightened Say Endodontic Specialists

We understand that it can be scary to  hear your dentist say that you need to have your wisdom teeth taken out. why?, you think, “They don’t hurt. why do I need to have them removed?” Oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth is a standard practice. In the United States almost all young adults who undergo proper dental  are have their wisdom teeth removed. according to a recent dental study, 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year. however, it may not always be necessary to remove wisdom teeth. In fact, based on this study more than 60% of these removals were not needed suggest other endodontic specialists.


Prevention Is Key Say The Dentists 

Dentist say that removing these teeth is a preventative measure, but sometimes there is a good reason for this removal. Just because wisdom teeth aren’t a source of pain doesn’t mean there’s nothing to worry about. the teeth could be stuck or impacted, meaning they can’t break through your jaw and into your mouth. Your mouth may be too small and you may not able to make room for them, or your wisdom teeth could be growing at an angle to other teeth. This can damage the tooth next to them, as well as all others if they start pushing up against it. Dentists often make a decision to remove healthy  molars to  prevent problems later on in life. They decide to do this when you are younger because the bones in your jaw get harder as you age and this makes it more difficult to remove teeth later on in life.

“If you decide to wait, it may be more difficult to remove your wisdom teeth when you are older,” suggest experts at Dental City. There are often problems after surgery in older patients, and these problems can include heavy bleeding,  severe numbness and fractured teeth. these problems can last from a few days to a lifetime.


Should I Consider Removal?

You want to seriously consider your doctor’s recommendations when wisdom teeth cause problems, or when x-rays show that the wisdom teeth could cause problems later on in life.  It is at this point you want to see to their removal, say endodontic specialists.

According to Dental City: other good reasons to take them out include:

  1. Damage to other teeth, especially after orthodontic work. Third molars can push your other teeth around and cause  mouth pain and bite problems.
  2. Jaw damage: when your molars don’t come up correctly, cysts can form around them and when not treated correctly, this can hollow out your jaw and damage nerves.
  3. Sinus Issues: Problems in wisdom teeth growth can also increase or cause sinus issues. This can include sinus pain, pressure and congestion.
  4. Gingivitis:  tissue around the third molars can swell, redden and be hard to clean.
  5. Increase in cavities: swollen gums create pockets between teeth and help bacteria grow and cause more cavities. The inability to  brush third molars causes cavities in the motor as well as the adjacent ones.
  6. Alignment:  impacted wisdom teeth can undo the work of braces, Bridges and crowns.


The Prognosis According to Dental City

Your dentist will analyze the shape of your mouth in the position of your teeth to make the decision as to whether your wisdom teeth need to be surgically removed. Your age also plays an important role in this decision.


Still Undecided?

The experts at Dental City suggest you ask your dentist to explain what he sees and why he believes your third molars should be removed. In some cases, you can wait for a few months to see if something changes before both of you make your decision. But if you have pain and noticed swelling or an odd putrid odor at the back of your teeth, you need to have those wisdom teeth removed immediately.


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