Mint Hill Dentist Offers Wise Words about Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth often erupt between 17 and 21 years of age

Wisdom teeth often erupt between 17 and 21 years of age

We typically don’t think about wisdom teeth until they pose a problem. These large third molars take their time making their presence known. They often don’t erupt until a person is between the ages of 17 and 21. Wisdom teeth likely get their name from the fact that they emerge during a “wiser” stage of maturity in a child’s life. While that’s debatable, the issues wisdom teeth can cause have been clearly proven. In Mint Hill NC, children’s dentist Dr. Bevin Malley provides information about wisdom teeth.

Why Do We Have Them?

Anthropologists believe that wisdom teeth were once essential. Our early ancestors had larger jaws and may have needed the extra molars to chew coarse food. Now, though, wisdom teeth seem to serve no useful purpose. Our modern jaws simply can’t accommodate them, and that’s a problem.

The average person has one to four wisdom teeth. They start forming in the jaw around the age of ten.

Problems with Wisdom Teeth

As wisdom teeth begin their journey to erupt into the mouth, lots of things can go wrong. To start with, a wisdom tooth can get stuck, either in bone or in soft tissue, because there’s not enough room for it to break through tissue cleanly and without obstruction. Impaction can be painful and may lead to infection. In rare cases, a cyst can form at the site of impaction, wreaking even more havoc.

If wisdom teeth do emerge without becoming impacted, they can crowd existing teeth, causing aesthetic and oral health issues. Crowded teeth are harder to clean, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Bite alignment may be thrown off-kilter, too.

What To Do about Wisdom Teeth

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, approximately 85% of wisdom need to be extracted. Early removal is recommended; for example, mid to late teens or early 20s. Waiting to remove wisdom teeth can result in complications and longer healing times.

Dr. Bevin will help you make the best decision for your child when it comes to wisdom tooth removal. Call Carolina Kids Dentistry in Mint Hill NC today to schedule an appointment.