Wisdom teeth usually erupt in the late teens or early twenties. Often times they come in at the wrong angle, and can cause dental issues. Sometimes they remain impacted, which can lead to potential infection. Park Ridge dentists, Dr. Thanasi and Dr. Maria Loukas want to know just how wise you are about wisdom teeth.
Q1. True or False – Partially erupted wisdom teeth should be left alone.
Q2. True or False – Wisdom teeth are unnecessary in modern times.
Q3. True or false – Third molar teeth are called “wisdom” teeth because you are considered to be of a wise age when they erupt.
A1. False – When a wisdom tooth fails to erupt through the gum bed completely, a soft tissue flap develops. This is called an operculum, and can make it very difficult to clean teeth properly. Bacteria and food debris are likely to accumulate under the operculum, leading to infection. Extraction will generally be recommended in the case of a partial wisdom tooth eruption.
A2. True – Cro-Magnon man couldn’t go to the closest department store and register for a nice set of sharp steak knives when he got married. There was a time in evolution when cooking meat wasn’t even a thought, let alone a reality. The ancestral diet consisted of raw meat, nuts, leaves, and roots. A third set of molars was a necessity in ancient history. These days, since we cook, bake, and cut everything into bite-sized pieces, wisdom teeth aren’t as important. That’s why removing wisdom teeth can be an easy decision when they cause trouble in your mouth.
A3. TRUE – The association between the third molars and wisdom dates back to Hippocrates. The ancient Greek physician noted that the age that the teeth erupted was a time when people began to have wisdom. Hippocrates called the third molar teeth sophronisteres, which meant “prudent teeth.” Later, in Rome, they were called dentes sapientiae, which translates to “teeth of wisdom.”
About Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas:
Whether you wish to protect your smile from dental disease and damage, or restore your smile after suffering tooth loss, we can help you regain your oral health and confidence through a new and improved smile. Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly-skilled restorative and cosmetic dentists serving the Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.