WHEN IT COMES to wisdom teeth and myths, the tall tales rank right up there with toads causing warts! You’ll hear a lot of information about wisdom teeth, but not all of it is true.
WISDOM TEETH MYTHS
The first myth — it’s a doozy — is that wisdom teeth contain wisdom or make you smarter. If only! In truth, these back molars tend to come in later, meaning you will be a bit wiser than when your first adult teeth started to show up around age 5.
Another myth that is pretty common is that wisdom teeth must be removed, and the sooner the better, because they eventually will become bothersome or infected. However, only your dentist or other oral health professional can determine if your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Lastly, you’ll also likely hear that wisdom teeth are useless leftovers — like your appendix — that serve no purpose. The truth is, your wisdom teeth generally can do their appointed job of chewing food just fine.
NOTHING BUT THE FACTS
The proper term for your wisdom teeth is “third molars,” and they are the third — and last — set of molars to develop. Wisdom teeth usually show up in early adulthood, but everyone is different. Similarly, while not all wisdom teeth cause problems, it is a fact that wisdom teeth can cause a host of undesirable issues that range from pain and damaging adjoining teeth to infection and gum disease.
Along with proper daily oral care, your best bet in heading off problems with your wisdom teeth is to make sure your dentist keeps tabs on them through a lifetime of routine visits.
Word of Mouth is sponsored by Midtown Dental
column by WILLIAM NERESTANT, DDS
BIO: Dr. William Nerestant received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Detroit/Mercy School of Dentistry in Michigan. After serving and being recognized for his meritorious service in the U.S. Air Force as an officer in the Dental Corps, he currently serves patients at Midtown Dental in Lakeland. For more information, visit www.mymidtowndental.com or call (863) 226-0987.