Did you know that 80 percent of people with wisdom teeth end up having them removed by the age of 70? It might seem kind of strange that we have adult teeth that need to be extracted. After all, our baby teeth fall out without issue or dental intervention, and the teeth that replace them are hopefully going to be with us for life. What makes wisdom teeth different than our other teeth? When do wisdom teeth come in? And why do they often need to be removed?
When Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?
Do you remember when you were younger, and you looked forward to visits from the Tooth Fairy every time you lost a tooth? Your dentist probably explained to you that losing your baby teeth is a natural part of growing up. By the age of 13, most people have lost their baby teeth completely. However, that does not mean that your jaw is done developing. Molars grow in behind baby teeth and help us transition into an adult diet that includes harder-to-chew foods.
So what is a wisdom tooth? It’s really just a cute nickname for what you could more accurately call an extra set of molars in your mouth, which grow in after the rest of your permanent teeth are in place. These teeth are left over from an age where human jaws were wider, and raw foods were a larger part of our overall diet. However, as humans have continued to evolve, we have gotten better at feeding ourselves in ways that cause less dental wear and tear. These days, our jaws are smaller, and additional molars are largely unnecessary.
While there is some dispute about where the name came from, most dentists agree that wisdom teeth got their name from being the final teeth that appear in a person’s mouth. They’re a mark of dental maturity. Most people’s wisdom teeth come in between the ages of 17 and 25.
How Do I Know If My Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In?
If your wisdom teeth haven’t come in yet, you may wonder how you’ll know when it’s about to happen. People whose wisdom teeth are coming in tend to experience some discomfort as they erupt through the gum line. The following are common symptoms:
- Aching in the jaw or tenderness, especially around the molars
- Swollen gums
- A feeling of pressure in the back of the jaws
It’s also possible that you will not experience any discomfort when your wisdom teeth appear.
In addition, some wisdom teeth do not erupt above the gum line, so they won’t be visible to you. Your dentist can check the positioning of your wisdom teeth using an x-ray.
What Should I Do When My Wisdom Teeth Come In?
Once your wisdom teeth come in, you and your dentist will need to decide what you’d like to do about it. As mentioned above, the majority of people have them removed. Many dentists recommend this because it helps their patients avoid issues with tooth decay and gum disease. If you’re anxious about tooth extraction, put your mind at ease. It may sound intimidating, but modern dentistry makes it much easier than it used to be. You’ll be back on your feet and pain-free in no time.
When do wisdom teeth come in? For most people, they arrive between the ages of 17 and 21. However, a dentist is the best person to answer your questions about your specific dental situation.
If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!