Wisdom teeth, which are classified as molars, typically appear in our late teens or early 20s. They’re so named because they’re the last of our teeth to grow. Their position as the last teeth in the jaw helps us chew solid foods. Interestingly, they’ve also been found to have an additional functionality; a study at the University of Adelaide determined the stem cells inside wisdom teeth can be used in brain cells <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430192527.htm.>.
Yet wisdom teeth can be a problem for the modern jaw, which is smaller than our predecessors’. When they finally do emerge, there often isn’t enough room for them, and they can crowd the existing teeth or become misaligned. This is where a series of issues can begin: misaligned teeth are firstly difficult or even impossible to clean by brushing and flossing, and bacteria grows as a result, which can damage the gums or cause tooth decay or other types of oral disease. Secondly, misalignment can damage the jawbone, nerves or the neighboring teeth.
These issues sound serious, but they are completely avoidable. If the dentist determines you don’t have enough space to accommodate the wisdom teeth, she will often recommend they be extracted early on, before they have a chance to cause any problems.
A simple exam will determine the state of your wisdom teeth. Some people’s wisdom teeth emerge and cause no issue and others grow beneath the surface of the gum and can become impacted. In such a case, it is best they be removed. At Dental Care for You, we recommend patients between the ages of 16-25 be examined to see whether any action needs to be taken. Dr. Fadavi has extensive experience in wisdom teeth extraction, and her priority is ensuring the procedure is safe, easy and effective.