No it is not just bad luck… it seems our evolution has a major part to play in impacted wisdom teeth according to a new study…

evolution hold some blame for impacted wisdom teeth How evolution is to blame for impacted wisdom teeth

Our evolution has bumped us all up to the top of the food chain, but not without certain sacrifices. Even with all our success as a species – being able to walk on two legs, discovering fire, building cities – we all still experience issues that demonstrates our evolution might have been bungled somewhere along the way!

How does this relate to impacted wisdom teeth? The development of our large and complex brains meant we developed narrower mouths to compensate – and this resulted in impacted wisdom teeth. This is why many Australians will experience impacted wisdom teeth and will need them removed at some point in their lives.

When is best to remove wisdom teeth?

Dr Alex Abrahams recommends wisdom teeth should be removed in late adolescence, from ages 17-22. Patients of this age group are most suitable to wisdom tooth removal as their tooth roots have not completely matured and their bone tissue is less dense, meaning the extraction will be less painful and require less downtime than an adult extraction (aged 23+).

By extracting wisdom teeth you help to prevent problems later in life…

By removing impacted wisdom teeth, you are able to allow your mouth to remain healthy and maintain an optimal bite. If you neglect to have your wisdom teeth removed when they are impacted, more significant issues may occur later, including:

Infection

This can occur if the overlying gum tissue becomes inflamed or swollen. The result of infection is usually pain, bad breath, swollen neck and discharge that oozes from the site. We strongly recommend extraction as soon as possible if infection is present, as gum disease can be devastating to your oral health.

Pain

The pressure of your wisdom tooth can cause pain and discomfort at the site, including the tooth next to it and in the surrounding jaw bone. Severe pain can also induce headaches on the relevant side of the tooth ache.

Overcrowding

Wisdom teeth exert constant forward pressure, and as a result of this the other teeth in the mouth can become overcrowded in the jaw, especially during late teens. It is important to note that wisdom teeth that have caused overcrowding, once removed, the crowding will NOT correct itself and will need orthodontic intervention. Be sure to remove your wisdom teeth early to avoid this issue.

Cysts

All teeth in the mouth develop within a sac and when they fail to erupt, the sac remains and may expand to cause a cyst around the tooth. Cysts are dangerous as they can displace teeth and cause jaw fractures. Be sure to book an appointment at our practice if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your wisdom teeth.

A Resorption Cavity

This occurs when an impacted wisdom tooth pushes against a neighbouring molar as it tries to erupt. By forcing continuous pressure on the neighbouring molar tooth this can form a cavity, and leads to serious damage for both teeth involved. The result of a resorption cavity is usually the loss of both the wisdom teeth and the molar affected.

To discover more about wisdom teeth or to book an appointment to see Dr Abrahams, please do not hesitate to contact us.