Wisdom Teeth: A Problem
Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25, an age that is associated, according to common perception, with reaching maturity, which explains the name given to these molars. In many cases, these last molars are impacted in the gums, come out in the wrong angle, are a source of pain and infection, may cause pericoronitis, crowd the other teeth on the jaws, are very difficult to keep clean and even more difficult to treat because of their tricky position in the mouth and their atypical morphology, and they end up extracted. Even so, it is not compulsory for your wisdom teeth to bring trouble at all!
Dentists’ opinions on the matter may differ: some believe wisdom teeth ought to be left alone as long as they don’t cause any problems, while others say the third molars must be removed during one’s adolescence in order to avoid further complications. However, it is obvious that early extraction (germectomy) is easier than performing the same procedure on a mature tooth.
Nevertheless, statistics claim that, more often than not, these teeth bring trouble as soon as they appear. There seems to be a connection between the size of the jaws and wisdom teeth. Of course, should one’s jaws be unable to accommodate 32 teeth, the last to appear erupt at an angle or remain impacted in the jaw.
Some Patients Don’t Have Any Wisdom Teeth
Why do we still develop wisdom teeth? Presumably, they are vestigial organs and some patients don’t even have them.
Patients can have less than 4 wisdom teeth, as they only develop 3, 2 or 1 of the third molars. There are even rare cases of hyperdontia, in patients with more than 4 wisdom teeth. Yet, patients who lack their wisdom teeth completely are no longer an exception.
Some of these variations are directly but not exclusively influenced by race.