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Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth? Grand Rapids, MI

Don't ignore wisdom tooth pain. About 85% of Americans will need wisdom tooth extraction sometime during their lives. Wisdom teeth are the third molars that erupt through the gum line between the ages of 17 and 25.

If you or your child has wisdom teeth coming in, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. Our dentists take X-rays to monitor the progress and trajectory of your wisdom teeth. That way, we'll be able to determine if you need a wisdom tooth extraction.

Wisdom Teeth Have Ancient Roots

What's the point of wisdom teeth if they're commonly extracted? Many dentists believe that the answer comes from our ancestor's diet. Early humans needed extra molars and large jaws to chew tough plants, roots, and raw meat.

Since modern humans eat soft foods and cooked meat, we don't need wisdom teeth anymore. However, our genes still produce wisdom teeth that no longer have room to grow. When wisdom teeth don't have enough room in the jaw to erupt, they can come in at odd angles or even horizontally.

When Wisdom Teeth Removal is Necessary

Not everyone needs wisdom teeth removal. If our dentists see that your wisdom teeth are coming in straight and there's enough room in the jaw, you may be able to keep your third molars. Our dentists' main concerns are protecting your oral health and the appearance of your smile.

Impacted wisdom teeth will need to be removed as soon as possible to prevent crowding and other oral health issues. Wisdom teeth that are coming in at an angle will push other teeth out of the way to make room in the jaw. The best way to prevent crowding is to remove wisdom teeth before they erupt. Wisdom teeth removal can be scheduled once the extra molars are fully formed in the jaw.

If you ever experience wisdom tooth pain, don't hesitate to call our office. Our emergency dentists will be able to examine the inside of your mouth and take dental X-rays to determine the source of your pain. If your jaw is too small, wisdom teeth can become trapped under the surface of the gums or may only partially erupt. Impacted wisdom teeth not only undo years of wearing braces or clear aligners but can increase your risk for infection.

Why Each Patient is Different

Each patient is different. For example, a patient may need a wisdom tooth extraction if there isn't enough room in the jaw to accommodate the extra teeth. Another person, on the other hand, may have plenty of space in their jaw.

Our dentists will carefully examine your X-rays to determine the right solution for your smile. We're also more than happy to answer any questions you might have about your wisdom teeth.

Call Renew Family Dental Today!

Our dentists are dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health by providing wisdom tooth extraction and other dental services. To request an appointment with one of our Grand Rapids dentists, call Renew Family Dental at (616) 245-3205.

This blog post has been updated.