No one wants to have a tooth pulled. Even when in excruciating pain, extracting a tooth is still a task no one wants to carry out. Add ‘wisdom’ to that equation and the moans and groans from those with experience are audible.
Does the extraction of wisdom teeth have to be painful? If there’s no pain to begin with, is removing them really necessary? Why are they called ‘wisdom’ teeth to begin with? Let’s dig deeper and get a little insight!
Why are they called ‘wisdom’ teeth?
Most people are under the false impression that we have two sets of teeth in our lifetime. The reality is wisdom teeth are a very real third ‘set’. This set of molars typically makes its debut in the late teens or early twenties, hence the name ‘wisdom’ since they form and erupt later in life. These teeth were once considered as useful as any other tooth, especially when chewing and gnashing the food of yester-year. Long story short, food used to be rough, harsh, and difficult to almost impossible to chew. Wisdom teeth were needed when other teeth had been worn down or worn out. Now that we’ve got knives, forks, refrigerators, etc., evolution has deemed these extra teeth, well, useless.
Is it always necessary to remove them?
The short answer is no. Some people go through life experiencing no problems with their wisdom teeth. The eruption of these teeth above the gum line is so smooth, they’re barely even noticed. For some, however, the pain and discomfort brought on by this process is undeniable. If pain begins in that area, it’s time for a trip to the dentist. Discomfort may not automatically mean extraction, but it is definitely a signal to have them examined.
For many, wisdom teeth erupt aligned and healthy. They take their place in the gum line as perfect as can be and cause no problems. For others, the teeth can erupt misaligned, or at an angle. They may not erupt at all and align themselves horizontally and underneath the gum line, or impacted. This can cause pain and stress on the gums, other teeth, nerves, and jawline. It can lead to infections, cysts, swelling, and even tooth decay.
Even before your wisdom teeth emerge, your dentist will more than likely examine them using an x-ray to see how they’re doing. An examination can give your dentist an idea of trouble before you feel any pain. If it is necessary to remove them, it’s best to get them removed younger in life and before the pain begins. Younger patients have a smaller instance of complications, making the oral surgery easier for everyone. As always, consult your dentist or orthodontists, as they are your best source of information.