Wise Up to Wisdom Teeth

young man with a hurting toothWisdom teeth gained their moniker long ago because they begin to show between the ages of 17-25, once referred to as “the age of wisdom.” These days, wisdom teeth are more famous for the discomfort they cause than for their time of arrival. Your last four molars are exceptions to many of the rules that govern your other 28 teeth, including how extracting them affects your oral health.

A Little Room, Please?

Park Ridge oral surgeons, Drs. Maria and Thanasi Loukas, typically remove patients’ wisdom teeth because they’ve become impacted. Often, an adult’s mouth can only accommodate a total of 28 teeth—14 on each of the upper and lower ridges. When the last four molars try to erupt, they’re often impeded by the molars already at the end of the dental ridge. Nevertheless, the obstruction doesn’t stop them from growing, and impacted wisdom teeth can push other teeth out of their current positions, which can lead to;

  • Damage to other teeth
  • Increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease
  • Imbalanced bite
  • Various levels of discomfort

Stay or Go…Your Choice

Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth might not cause any symptoms other than an increased risk of dental disease. Other times, wisdom teeth can grow in just fine, with plenty of room and no complications. Patients with perfectly-erupted wisdom teeth often still opt to remove them to avoid complications in the future. Unlike other teeth, third molars don’t need replacement if they’re extracted, so preemptively removing them shouldn’t negatively affect your oral health. After a thorough and comprehensive examination, Dr. Maria or Dr. Thanasi Loukas can help you decide if wisdom tooth extraction is the right choice.

Wisdom Teeth Store Stem Cells!

Not everything related to wisdom teeth is negative. According to research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, wisdom teeth contain a valuable reservoir of tissues needed to create stem cells. The discovery is an exciting development, especially for scientists studying the benefits of stem cells use. In other news, scientists using mice as models have biologically created a tooth using programmable stem cells. In the future, extracting your wisdom teeth may do more than just relieve pain; it might also create your own reservoir of biologically-compatible stem cells that can aid in some medical and dental treatments.

About Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas:

Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly-skilled restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentists serving the Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.

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