Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars, located in the back on each side of the upper and lower jaws. They usually appear when a person is in their late teens or early twenties, hence the term “wisdom teeth”. Wisdom teeth can erupt normally, but they can become stuck or impacted if there is inadequate space for them to do so.
Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always need to be extracted, and some will sit there peacefully for years without creating any problems. However, germs can build up around impacted teeth, causing decay, gum disease, and even infections and abscesses in some situations. Eventually, it would cause discomfort and a visit to a dental surgeon will be necessary.
Will Wisdom Teeth Make My Other Teeth Crooked?
It’s a popular myth that as wisdom teeth erupt, they push other teeth out of the way, causing them to shift and overlap. This is not the case as according to research conducted by Dr. Tom Southard of the University of Iowa, wisdom teeth do not exert enough pressure on neighbouring teeth to cause dental crowding. In this study, sensors were employed to monitor the pressures on teeth with and without wisdom teeth, with the results revealing no difference between the two.
If you have dental crowding, your wisdom teeth are unlikely to be to cause. Instead, other factors, such as not using your retainer, may be to blame. If you’re worried about crooked teeth, the greatest thing you can do is consult a qualified orthodontist.