A Few Questions About Wisdom Teeth

Your last four molars, called third molars or wisdom teeth, often find little room to grow, and can cause a host of problems as they struggle to make room for themselves. If you’ve ever needed a wisdom tooth extracted, then you may be familiar with the discomfort that wisdom teeth often generate. Today, we answer some of your most commonly asked questions about wisdom teeth and the trouble they can cause, including whether or not you should have yours extracted.

Why are third molars called wisdom teeth?

Technically, they’re the third set of permanent molars to erupt. But, wisdom teeth earned their nickname because they often appear between the ages of 17 and 25 (a time referred to as “the age of wisdom”). Nevertheless, in many cases, it’s wiser to remove these molars than to keep them around.

Why do they hurt?

Because your mouth is often full of teeth by the time wisdom teeth appear, your last molars can often push up against present teeth and force them out of place. The disturbance, known as an impacted wisdom tooth, can lead to a host of discomfort, as well as subsequent dental problems, if not addressed promptly or preemptively.

Is wisdom tooth extraction always a good idea?

Not all wisdom teeth create problems with their appearance. Many patients develop all four of their last molars without incident and never require a wisdom tooth extraction. Others, however, may choose to extract wisdom teeth before they become troublesome. After a thorough examination, your dentist can help you decide if you should remove your third molars, even if they haven’t become uncomfortable yet.

Learn More About Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are often extracted due to complications, or to prevent complications from developing. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in Des Moines, IA, today at (515) 244-9565.