Why Wisdom Hurts

Getting your wisdom teeth, or third set of molars, is a sign that you are now in the age of maturity. However, having your wisdom teeth come in is just one of the many growing pains which a person will have to go through. So what makes this third set of molars so special from the rest of your pearly whites?

History of Wisdom Teeth

The most famous theory of why humans have wisdom teeth date back to during the prehistoric times when cooking techniques were still not developed. This means that the cavemen had to eat their meat raw and had to expend more effort to be able to chew their food. The third molars were a great help to these prehistoric men and women.

However, as society began to improve and people began cooking their meats, the significance of wisdom teeth started to wane. Also, the facial features of humans began to change as time went by and gave rise to smaller jaws. Because the wisdom teeth are the last to come in, the tendency is that by the time they do emerge, there’s hardly any space for them if there is any at all.

The Problem with Wisdom Teeth

Because of the lack of space, wisdom teeth can come in as partially erupted (wherein only a section of each tooth emerges), or impacted, (wherein the tooth fails to come in totally and is left un-erupted underneath the gums).

Diagnosing Wisdom Tooth Problems

Since teeth which haven’t erupted are very difficult to detect, Dr. Compton in South Concord, NC usually asks his patients to get a dental x-ray which reveals all the structures underneath your gums including teeth which haven’t emerged. However, the process of getting dental x-rays exposes you to harmful radiation. Pregnant women should be wary about getting dental x-rays because the rays could endanger the growing baby. For this reason, expectant mothers should disclose that they are pregnant- especially if they aren’t showing yet so that they could be fitted with a lead apron which will detract the dangerous radiation.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Sometimes, an extraction is necessary in order to resolve pain that comes with impacted wisdom teeth. This might be a very daunting procedure but luckily, medical advancements will mean that the offending tooth and the surrounding gums will be properly numbed with the help of local anaesthetics. On top of that, Dr. Compton in South Concord, NC might give you a sedative in order to help calm your nerves throughout the entire procedure.

photo credit: aphasiafilms via photopin cc

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