In human beings wisdom teeth are vestigial molars from a period in human evolution when our ancient ancestors survived on a diet of roots and other hard foods. Most people have four wisdom teeth, though some people might have more or fewer.
Wisdom teeth develop inside the gums at the same time that your body develops permanent teeth. They usually start to emerge from the gums in late adolescence. The first symptom of an emerging wisdom tooth is a dull ache in the gums and jaw at the rear of the mouth.
Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of space available in the rear of the mouth. This can lead to the wisdom teeth becoming crowded or impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth come in sideways or remain buried in the gums. This can cause a lot of pain and put pressure on your healthy molars, which can damage the roots. Impacted wisdom teeth need to be removed before more serious problems arise.
Even if your wisdom teeth emerge without any immediate problems they will still be subject to plaque and tartar buildup. Because of their location in the back of the mouth they are often hard to clean. This makes them more likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease.
As you age your wisdom teeth can become partially fused to the bone of your jaw. You may experience a much longer recovery time and possible complications if they are extracted later in life.
If you would like advice or a consultation about a possible extraction procedure, feel free to call us at 952-226-7940 to schedule an appointment.