Sure, by now you already know that wisdom teeth, located at the very back of the mouth, are the last to erupt. But do you know why they come in later than the rest?
"It's because our teeth takes place in an organized fashion of eruption, from primary to permanent teeth, over a course of years. Wisdom teeth happen to be the last one," explains Margielyn Jorgio, DMD. They appear between ages 17 to 25, a transitional period in our lives between adolescence and adulthood.
"It is thought that we become wiser and more mature at this age so they're named 'wisdom teeth,'" Jorgio shares.
Also known as the third molar, they usually grow out very slowly. Sometimes it takes months or even years before they finally stay above the gums. For others, they come into the mouth partially or not at all.
"Highly variable kasi ang eruption ng wisdom teeth. Most teeth take one month to be fully erupted. Sa wisdom tooth naman, they can be very slow to completely erupt and some may not erupt, some may be congenitally missing," Jorgio says.
An article published in Indiana Public Media adds that "early humans had longer jawbones which provided enough room for all 32 teeth." People nowadays have smaller jaws, it reports, that aren't able to accommodate the "four extra teeth."
Because of space inadequacy, it prevents the teeth from erupting. Therefore, your wisdom teeth could become painful and impacted, meaning they are not able to fully develop or become misaligned.
Pain can be alleviated temporarily by placing iced chips onto the area to numb the teeth. There are also some over the counter pain killer drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Salt-water solution use for rinsing will also help to alleviate the pain, according to Jorgio.
Extraction will be necessary if the tooth's causing too much pain, especially if other structures are being affected. "Pag mali yung angulation ng eruption niya, it causes destruction to adjacent teeth, sometimes lesions and pain in the ear from that side. So as much as possible, it needs to be removed to avoid further destructions of the oral structures," the dentist advises.
However, Jorgio reminds that it would be best to consult a dentist before undergoing any surgical procedure to evaluate the situation of your wisdom teeth.