The wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth that is developed in the mouth. It is the largest and comes with different types of complications, especially misalignment. The wisdom tooth also comes in with some signs to announce its arrival. If you are experiencing some discomfort in your mouth and you suspect that it is your wisdom teeth coming in, here is the article for you. Also, if you don’t have any clue on what a wisdom tooth is, and you want to be enlightened, keep reading.
Why do we have wisdom teeth?
If you have ever wonder why do we have wisdom teeth, we have the answer and it makes total sense. Every tooth in the mouth has its particular purpose and function. The incisor (which comprises the eight teeth in the front of your mouth) is used to bite food. The canines tear food apart. Premolars are used for crushing (and tearing) food. Then, the molars, including the wisdom teeth, are for grinding, tearing, and crumbling food.
They do a lot of work with the grinding because if food is not chopped into tiny particles, digestion becomes more complicated. Therefore, it is easier for food particles to get stuck in the molars. ‘Wisdom tooth’ is just the name given to the last of the molars (that is, the tooth at the far end of the mouth) because it was more existent and valuable for the ancient men. Now that our foods are cooked and softer, we don’t have much use for the wisdom tooth. Therefore, evolution has made it non-existent in some modern mouths.
Does everyone have wisdom teeth?
The quick answer to the question ‘does everyone have wisdom teeth’ is: no,
not everyone has wisdom teeth. As explained earlier, our diets nowadays aren’t as brutal as they were in the old days. We now have a range of cutlery such as knives, fork, and spoons (as well as machines that grind our foods). These inventions have made wisdom teeth more or less useless. Therefore, as a result of evolution, some people weren’t born with wisdom teeth. And unlike others, some have more than one.
So, you don’t have to feel bad if you did not see your wisdom teeth coming in during your late teens (or early twenties). You also don’t have to feel like a freak if you have more than one wisdom teeth coming in. Statistics say that about 65% of Americans have more than one Wisdom teeth in their mouth. However, the critical thing is to maintain the health of your teeth, whether or not there is a wisdom tooth in there.
How to know if your wisdom teeth are coming in?
You would have felt some signs when your wisdom tooth first came out for those that have the wisdom tooth but if you are wondering how to know if your wisdom teeth are coming in, so you don’t mislead the symptoms, we have compiled the most common ones.
These signs might be uncomfortable but keep in mind that they can be managed if proper precautions are taken, mainly because the signs are from the wisdom tooth not having enough space to come out.
Although, before the signs begin to show, you can see your wisdom tooth coming in from your dental X-ray. However, if you are not a biggie on dental X-rays (which you should be), the other signs that tell if your wisdom teeth are coming in include the following:
Other wisdom teeth symptoms include a sensitive tooth, fever, and a pericoronal flap over the wisdom tooth area (a thin flap of gum).
Why do wisdom teeth hurt?
There are general cares you give to your teeth to prevent them from hurting. Some brush twice daily, remineralize teeth, floss, etc. However, if you have a wisdom tooth, you would know that it is a pain in the neck. It is not one of the most luxurious teeth to have. There can be jaw and neck pain, swelling, bleeding, irritation, fever, etc. But why does the wisdom teeth hurt even after it has broken out from the gum? Here are a few reasons.
We already know that the wisdom tooth is the last tooth to come out. Therefore, the other sets of teeth have taken most of the space in the mouth (especially if you have a small mouth). Because of this, the impacted wisdom teeth have to squeeze it’s way out. This is uncomfortable and might result in constant pain in that area.
Another reason is misalignment. Most times, the tooth is not aligned correctly because it had to squeeze its way through. Therefore, cleaning it might be challenging. And if the tooth is not cleaned perfectly, bacteria can get stuck and breed. This, in return, can cause gum disease, cavities, etc., which are extremely painful. So what then is the cure/remedy for this pain?
How to manage the pain?
One can take some pills to manage the pain from your wisdom teeth, such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen. They have been tested and certified to help relieve dental pain. However, make sure that you are taking the recommended dosage as prescribed by your physician/dentist.
Another method is to use a cold compress or ice on the inflamed area. This should lessen the pain after a while. Mouth gels are another option for managing wisdom teeth pain. They numb the mouth so that it is unable to feel pain temporarily. And since there are different brands, you can make your pick on the one that does not irritate your mouth.
If you would love a permanent solution, you can consider scheduling an appointment to remove your wisdom teeth. This is expensive, but it takes care of the pain permanently. There are also some prescriptions that you would be given to help with wisdom teeth recovery. However, ensure you are doing this with an experienced and qualified physician so that you don’t make things worse as complications like dry socket wisdom teeth can lead to more dental issues.
Possible complications of wisdom teeth removal
If you are considering wisdom tooth removal, then it is better to be well-informed on the risks and the most problematic wisdom teeth symptoms. This will help you have a better knowledge of what to do when going for your appointment. It would also (hopefully) scare you into going to an experienced doctor instead of a roadside dentist. Here are a few of the complications that could arise during and after wisdom tooth removal:
Having a wisdom tooth might seem like it is very unnecessary. And you might wish you weren’t born with it. But a wisdom tooth is not a bad tooth, neither is it a curse. With good care, a wisdom teeth growing in
can be well managed. However, if you still want it removed, ensure that it is done correctly to avoid affecting the other innocent sets of teeth.
These are answers to some frequently asked questions about wisdom tooth.
How many days or months does it take for a wisdom tooth to come in?
Unlike other types of teeth, wisdom teeth begin to develop from ages 17 to about 24/25. And it can take many years before it is fully developed. So you might not be able to keep track of when it will be over, but you can manage and care for it during the wisdom teeth growing in.
What dental issues can happen when wisdom teeth grow?
While the wisdom teeth develop, the entire jaw might be in discomfort. There could be swelling and bleeding. However, make sure to check with your dentist now and then to make sure it is not more than that. You can also get some pain reliever to help with the pain.
Can wisdom teeth grow when you are older?
Wisdom teeth grow when a person has reached his/her late teens or early twenties. And continues to grow after that. It can still be developing even when a person is in his thirties. Wisdom tooth (and its package) is common among adults alone.
What should I do when wisdom teeth pain lasts for an extended period?
Usually, the pain from the wisdom tooth lasts for a few days then comes back (reoccurring). But if you suspect that the pain has lasted for longer than usual, check with your dentist. It might be something else that is causing the pain.