6 Facts You Must Know about Your Wisdom Teeth

wisdom tooth

Wisdom teeth are an extra set of permanent teeth that generally come in during the late teens or early twenties. These teeth aren't necessary, and in fact, many people don't have room in their mouth for these teeth, so they can cause problems if left alone. While wisdom teeth removal may seem like a regular aspect of North Pole dentistry, there are a few facts about wisdom teeth and their removal that you may not know. Here are 6 things you should know.

Most Should Be Removed

One important thing to note about wisdom teeth is that most people should have them removed. Most people don't have room for wisdom teeth, which means they become impacted and never erupt. There are a few problems that can result from impacted wisdom teeth, most notably inflammation, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth. In addition, wisdom teeth are difficult to clean and are more likely to develop cavities that spread to the root and become extremely dangerous.

Some People Don't Get Wisdom Teeth

There's a gene called PAX9 that helps determine whether or not people will get wisdom teeth. These genetic differences make some groups less likely to have wisdom teeth. One group less likely to get wisdom teeth, for instance, is those with indigenous Mexican ancestry. Most African American and Caucasian people get wisdom teeth.

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Impacted Teeth Are Common

Wisdom teeth that can't fully enter the mouth, impacted teeth, are very common and cause a few different problems. These impacted teeth are more susceptible to infection because they're difficult to clean. In addition, they can cause the surrounding teeth to move out of alignment. Cysts may form around the impacted teeth, and if not addressed properly these cysts can damage the nerves in the jaw. Impacted wisdom teeth may also cause sinus pain and pressure.

Causes of Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth may be caused by a modern diet that's easier on the teeth. Another cause may be modern dental work that produces straight teeth but doesn't leave extra room for third molars.

Wisdom Teeth and Science

Wisdom teeth have been studied for years and continue to be a subject of interest in the scientific world. Some researchers are looking for ways to prevent the growth of wisdom teeth altogether since they aren't formed in the womb and not necessary today. Wisdom teeth can also be used to produce stem cells to help later in life with health conditions requiring stem cell treatments.

Removing Wisdom Teeth

A dentist will determine if wisdom teeth extraction is the best option. Some may have impacted teeth that require surgical removal, while others may not need extraction or may face other risks like nerve damage if the wisdom teeth are extracted. Contact quality dental in Fairbanks, AK, to talk to a dentist and find the best option for you.