Why Are Wisdom Teeth Called Wisdom Teeth?

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Called Wisdom Teeth?

Have you ever tried to figure out why wisdom teeth come out too late? Or why do people denote the third molars as “Wisdom Teeth”? 

Its simple answer is because they grow in between the ages of 17-25 years. This period is the “age of wisdom” as a child steps into adulthood at this age. 

Our ancestors were able to eat a rough diet because they were able to use their wisdom teeth to chew various foods. In today’s era, the wisdom tooth has become functionless because we eat with a fork, knife, and spoon.

About 85% of Americans remove their wisdom teeth through oral surgery because they have many complications if they leave them to fully grow in. 

This article will look at the significant aspects of wisdom teeth and problems that arise because of their emergence.

Suffering from yellow teeth? Find out why here.

What is the Significance of Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that can be a valuable asset in the mouth if they are healthy and do not cause discomfort.

Earlier, humans lived in harsh natural environments, including forests and grasslands, without access to knives or spoons. So, their third set of molars helped them grind and chew meat, grass, leaves, nuts, and roots. 

The type of food you eat now has changed your eating patterns and lifestyle. Thus, wisdom teeth are no longer necessary to eat. Because of this evolution, many go through a removal process to take out their wisdom teeth.

Do All People get Wisdom Teeth?

No, not every human being gets their wisdom teeth. Around 40% of people do not develop wisdom teeth. It means that the tooth has impacted but not erupted, which will remain in the jaw bone forever and need to be removed immediately to alleviate discomfort and prevent infection.

You should not worry if you don’t have wisdom teeth yet as it is a common genetic factor. It will not hinder your chewing capacity and assures that you are less likely to develop problems.

The people who develop their wisdom teeth could have one, two, three, or four. In the rarest cases, some people produce more than four wisdom teeth (supernumerary teeth).

Why Emergence of Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems?

Human beings now have smaller jaws, unlike our ancestors. This is why there is inadequate space in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to fit in.

Many times, these teeth need removal because they are misaligned and unhealthy. This poor alignment creates swollen gums and irritation in the mouth.

Also, all of your teeth, nose, and jawbones can get damaged, causing so much pain and discomfort.

Another problem that you might face can be difficulty brushing or flossing the wisdom teeth because they are very far back.

All the issues can take you to routined dental visits. Researchers are working on specific methods to prevent wisdom teeth from growing. 

What are the Complications With Wisdom Teeth?

  • Pain

During the emergence of wisdom teeth, tooth pain and jaw pain can become quite severe because the teeth keep throbbing against each other. 

It may result from tooth eruption behind the second molars that causes inflammation. Or because the tooth may not fit in properly in the mouth.   

  • Gum Disease

As the wisdom teeth are hard to brush and floss, the food and bacteria get trapped inside the mouth. It gradually develops gum disease and tooth decay.

This can become a significant issue and swells the whole mouth. There are bleeding gums that need heavy medication to treat the gums in critical scenarios.

  • Cavity

A cavity might cause an infected wisdom tooth which can be more challenging to clean than regular teeth. 

This is because of its location at the back of the mouth. Flossing around the wisdom teeth might be especially difficult. As a result, cavities are more likely to form on these teeth.

  • Infection

An infection of the wisdom teeth can spread throughout the mouth, jaw, and other parts of the respiratory tract. 

In a small percentage of instances, the infection spreads to the blood. Sepsis is a life-threatening medical condition. 

Many dentists remove wisdom teeth at the first sign of difficulty to reduce the danger of severe or recurrent infections.

  • Dry Socket

Once your wisdom teeth are removed there is potential to get a dry socket during the healing process.

A dry socket is a frequent dental problem when the empty tooth socket fails to heal as it should. 

In most cases, a blood clot forms in the tooth’s socket. This safeguards the jaw’s bone and nerve endings. 

The exposed nerves may cause discomfort one to three days after the tooth is extracted if this does not occur.

They say to avoid using a straw after wisdom teeth removal so that you do not create a dry socket.

  • Cyst

A dental cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops near a wisdom tooth. A wisdom tooth impaction or infection can cause the cyst to become more severe. 

Cysts can impact the roots of wisdom teeth nearby over time, and they can even damage or weaken the jawbone.

Home Remedies to Treat Wisdom Tooth Infection

  • Salt Water Rinse can help get short-term pain relief by slowing down the growth of bacteria.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash can also be helpful because of its antibacterial properties.
  • Placing an Ice Pack or applying Clove Oil can help soothe the inflammation.
  • OTC pain medications and numbing gels can help you get a good night’s sleep before visiting the dentist. 

Wisdom Teeth Removal – Process & Aftercare

The dentist gives local anesthesia during the surgery, and you will regain the sensation from the mouth when you wake up. Swelling, pain and bleeding are expected after the removal. 

It generally takes 3-4 days for some people to recover fully. Other severe cases bring about a week to get back to work.

Remember to avoid hard foods and rely on soups, pudding, mashed potatoes for a couple of days. Then, eat regular foods slowly. Also, avoid activities like smoking and drinking alcohol.

Also, you are free to take antibiotics and pain relievers as prescribed by your dentist to prevent the further spread of infection.

Final Thoughts

Wisdom teeth grow in when you are a young adult. Most individuals remove their wisdom teeth to prevent discomfort and infections in the future.

An infected wisdom tooth is unavoidable but is curable with proper attention. Visit your dentist for regular checks once every 3-4 months to avoid wisdom tooth issues. 

Always brush and floss your teeth twice a day as it can help keep your wisdom teeth from becoming infected.

About the author

Jake is the lead publisher and director for Talk Radio News. Jake and his team are committed to providing the best information solutions for viewers like you.

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