April 3, 2018
You’ve probably been told by your dentist that your wisdom teeth are starting to show and that you’ll need to have them removed. Perhaps you have an 18-year-old son or daughter and their confused as to why they need this surgery. Regardless, failing to remove your wisdom teeth in Denver can lead to some significant consequences, at least for the majority of people.
There are occasions where the mouth is large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, but this is rarely the case. Today, we’ll be discussing what wisdom teeth are and what can happen if they’re not removed.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are extra teeth that anthropologists believe to be vestigial organs. These are body parts that no longer become functional thanks to evolution and modern advancements in society. In the past, our distant ancestors didn’t always know when the next meal was coming, so they were forced to eat tougher foods on a daily basis. Due to this tougher diet of roots, nuts, leaves, and meats, teeth would easily fall out, but extra teeth would appear to replace them.
Now that these wisdom teeth are no longer needed, they only pose problems for patients. They are the last set of teeth to erupt in the oral development timeline and typically do so between the ages of 17 and 25. The number of teeth that appear can vary, so it’s important that you have your mouth examined by your dentist around this age.
Is it Possible to Have More than Four Wisdom Teeth?
Scientists aren’t sure why some people have more or fewer teeth than others, but they do know that some patients can have even more than the traditional four wisdom teeth. These extra teeth are known as supernumerary and are not exclusive to wisdom teeth. Patients can have as many as eight wisdom teeth. They can even have extra incisors, canines, and duplicate molars. Of course, having more than four wisdom teeth is quite rare, occurring in only 1 to 2 out of 100 patients.
What Problems Can Appear?
As mentioned, some patient mouths are large enough to accommodate the eruption of several new teeth, but this is rare. More likely, you’ll need to have your wisdom teeth removed to avoid infections, headaches, and oral damage.
For example, wisdom teeth that fail to erupt properly can remain trapped underneath the gum line. This is known as impaction. According to your oral surgeon in Denver, wisdom teeth can also partially erupt, causing severe gum infections, muscle spasms in the jaw, and even swollen lymph nodes. If they fail to grow in straight, they can also make your bite misaligned.
These are only a few of the problems that can arise by not removing wisdom teeth in Denver when you need to. Schedule a visit with your oral surgeon today to learn the steps needed to maintain your oral health!
About the Author
Dr. Brian Fangman earned his doctorate degree from Ohio State University before undergoing additional Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at the Nassau University Medical Center. He has a particular interest in wisdom tooth removal and enjoys helping patients feel comfortable in their time of need. To learn more about wisdom tooth removal or about his practice, contact him at (720) 328-4990 or visit his website.
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