Wisdom Teeth, and why do we have them?

wisdom teeth x ray

Wisdom Teeth

Your mouth isn’t fully developed until early adulthood. That’s because your last molars, or wisdom teeth, will not erupt until your late teens, early twenties. A lot of research says that as the diet of humans has changed our bodies have evolved and our heads and jaws are becoming smaller. One evolutionary hang-up is wisdom teeth. These molars, while once useful, are no longer necessary, and should be removed for a lot of people. Wisdom teeth removal is not a required treatment for everyone, but there are many reasons to remove them.

The main reason why patients choose to have their wisdom teeth removed is infection. This infection is a result of the lack of space for the teeth to erupt properly. What happens is teeth get covered by gum, and then the gum becomes infected as food, plaque and bacteria gets wedged under the gum. The gum tissue and bone around the infection then becomes sore and requires a lot of extra maintenance to keep that area clean.

The gum tissue and bone around the infection then becomes sore and requires a lot of extra maintenance to keep that area clean. In some cases the infection can fester into a more serious condition such as:

• decay of the wisdom teeth
• infection of the jaw and bone surrounding the wisdom tooth

Aside from infection wisdom teeth may only partially emerge, or emerge sideways. They can then push and crowd established teeth, creating further dental issues.

Wisdom teeth removal in Perth

Wisdom tooth extraction is a common but delicate procedure that involves removing the offending teeth. Depending on how much of the tooth has erupted, this is done by opening the gum tissue the tooth is trapped under. The dentist would then clear any bone covering the tooth, and then detach the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone before removing the tooth entirely. We can use either local or general anaesthetic for this procedure depending on the condition of the wisdom tooth and the patient’s preference.

Wisdom teeth removal aftercare

The recovery period for wisdom teeth extractions is approximately a week. You’ll be provided with painkillers and gauze pads during this time. As you’ll need to let the area of extraction heal, you’ll have to stick to soft foods for the initial period. You can gradually introduce solid foods as your mouth becomes less sensitive. It’s important to relax after surgery, so sit back and keep physical exercise to a minimum.

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