Most people are familiar with the term “wisdom teeth,” but not many know why their third molars carry that nickname. They have been called “teeth of wisdom” since the 17th century, and were referred to as “wisdom teeth” around the turn of the 19th century. Third molars often come in much latter than a person’s normal adult teeth, generally after about 17 years of age (or around the time the person reaches adulthood). Many who already have their wisdom teeth (or had them removed) can attest that wisdom teeth can be painful, while others experience little or no discomfort.
It’s generally accepted among those who study languages that they received their nickname because of how much later in life they tend to come in, generally when a person has matured and is “wiser” than when their adult teeth came in. Science has seemed to confirm that our ancestors were pretty close, as recent research has shown that the brain doesn’t reach full maturity until about 25 years old.
Many people often ask if they should have their wisdom teeth removed. If you’re experiencing discomfort due to wisdom teeth (or any discomfort in your mouth) you should see a dentist as soon as possible so they can take a closer look and let you know what’s going on. They will also be able to present options to help get rid of or relieve the pain.
Even if they aren’t causing any discomfort, your dentist may advise you that it’s best to have them removed to prevent any potential issues. The teeth could be stuck or impacted, so they can’t break through your jaw to come upward. They could be growing at an angle that will cause them to push up against the next closes tooth, which can cause your teeth to become crooked (and can cause pain). As you get older, the bones in your mouth get harder, which makes the teeth tougher to remove.
If you need a dentist in the San Marcos area for yourself or your whole family, give Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. a call or come by our office during our office hours, we’d love to help in any way we can!