Our patients often wonder why we recommend wisdom tooth extractions, or what the purpose of wisdom teeth even is. We are eager to help you better understand the benefits of removal and the extraction process! Read on for the answers to some frequently asked questions about those tricky third molars. Why do we have wisdom teeth? Human ancestors used their wisdom teeth to grind up food that was hard to digest. They had large jaws and powerful teeth with plenty of room for a third set of molars. Modern humans, however, eat cooked foods and have a more effective digestive system, so we have evolved smaller jaws and teeth. This means less room in our mouths for wisdom teeth. Why do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed? There are several reasons why you may benefit from having your wisdom teeth extracted, as wisdom teeth can cause a variety of short-term and long-term complications.
- Impaction: If there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth to erupt, they can become impacted, causing them to grow in at an angle. You may experience pain or discomfort while eating due to impaction.
- Damage to other teeth: Impacted wisdom teeth can push against your second molars, potentially damaging them and making them more susceptible to tooth decay.
- Disease: Narrowed spaces between molars due to impaction also allows for bacteria to form more easily, putting you at risk of inflammation, cysts, and periodontal (gum) disease.