Your third set of molars are more commonly known as "wisdom teeth." They're typically the last teeth to develop and usually appear in the late teens or early twenties.
These molars have an infamous reputation for causing discomfort and overall lacking purpose in our mouths. While nobody seems to entirely agree on why we have them, most researchers believe they were once useful in our ancestors' diets, which consisted of rougher, coarser foods that required more grinding and chewing.
While 5 million Americans each year opt to remove them, not everyone necessarily has to. Still, we highly recommend it!
Should Your Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
If you're a young adult whose wisdom teeth have yet to grow in, your dentist should be able to tell you if there's enough space.
Many people do not have enough room in their jaw to accommodate these teeth, which can cause a range of dental problems. Specifically, they can become impacted (unable to emerge fully from the gums) or lead to overcrowding, decay, and infection. Wisdom teeth can also grow at various angles in the jaw, which will cause pain in the mouth.
Even if your wisdom teeth have fully formed, that doesn't mean you're free and clear.
Pain in your back teeth might indicate they're crowding surrounding teeth. You should also consider removal if there's not sufficient space to brush and floss your wisdom teeth. Otherwise, these teeth can easily rack up cavities.
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth While Young?
It's better to remove wisdom teeth at a younger age, before the roots and bone are fully formed, and when your body's recovery is faster after surgery. Waiting too long can also increase the risk of complications like nerve damage, infection, and swelling.
That in mind, all 16-19 year-olds should be evaluated.
In need of a potential wisdom tooth removal? We'd be happy to schedule a consultation. Book your next appointment at Hospitality Dental & Orthodontics or call (951) 710-3925 today!