Wisdom teeth, or 3rd molars, are the molars that typically form in the area farthest back in the mouth. Most people develop 4 wisdom teeth. The majority of people do not have enough room in their upper or lower jaws to fully accommodate those 3rd molars. This is due to the fact that "we have stone age teeth with a space age diet". Over thousands of years ago, humans used to chew much harder often uncooked foods, resulting in teeth wear and decrease in teeth width. This decrease in teeth width allowed enough room for the full and necessary eruption of those 3rd back molars to maintain optimum chewing efficiency.
Our diet nowadays is much softer, hence there's significantly less wear in between the teeth. This results in wisdom teeth erupting only partially, or not at all (impacted). Partial eruption of wisdom teeth makes them impossible to fully clean, often resulting in gum and jaw infections. Impacted wisdom teeth can suddenly cause jaw pain due to the wisdom teeth pushing against the remaining teeth. Fully and partially impacted 3rd molars can cause damage to the neighboring molars, which can result in root canal therapy or removal of the important 2nd molars.
Dr. Parsons and his team have had significant experience removing impacted wisdom teeth. This is often done with the aid of oral sedation for a very relaxing time in the chair. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, feel free to call us at our office and speak to one of our dental team members today!