Third molars, otherwise known as wisdom teeth generally come through or erupt at a more mature age between 17 and 21.
Anthropologists believe we have wisdom teeth because our ancestor’s early diet required more chewing power. With today’s expanded food choices and cooking techniques, the third molars are not necessary for function.
If wisdom teeth come in with proper alignment, they generally work with the other molars in chewing. With the help of dental x-rays, we are able to determine if your wisdom teeth will be properly aligned. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves
Fred Quarnstrom, DDS from the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology, reports there is some evidence modern jaws are smaller than those of prehistoric humans. The x-rays will also show if there will be enough room in your mouth for the additional teeth.
Crowding can cause the tooth to become “impacted” meaning it is unable to break through the gums. Because it’s in an area that’s hard to clean, it can attract bacteria that leads to gum disease and infection.
Dr. Thor recommends if your wisdom teeth cause problems or x-rays show they might down the line, they should be removed and he will refer you to an oral surgeon.