Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Question: Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
The dreaded wisdom teeth. Why on earth were we given teeth that, in most cases, just end up being pulled anyway?
Many people have asked me "Why do we have wisdom teeth?" Considering the fact that I personally had nothing to do with the creation of mankind, I had to do some digging to find out why we were given wisdom teeth, and why most of us need to have our wisdom teeth extracted.
A Wise Tooth... Thousands of Years Ago
Our earliest ancestors survived on a diet of raw meat, nuts, roots, berries and leaves. Cro-Magnon man didn't have the luxury of using knives to cut and prepare his food, and cooking his meat wasn't even thought of then. Chewing these tough, coarse, and rugged foods required a broader jaw, and strong molars -- including the wisdom teeth. Having all three molars was vital, in order for our ancestors to be able to eat the foods necessary for survival. The larger jaw, common in our ancestors, easily accommodated the wisdom teeth, which allowed them to erupt into the mouth normally.

Fast-forward to today, and take a look at what we are eating and more importantly how we are preparing our food. We cut, dice, chop, and boil, steam, and bake almost everything we eat. All of that food preparation has made eating a pretty easy feat to accomplish, in fact experts believe that our jaw line has become less broad and smaller over the years due to how food is prepared and consumed; hence the reason why our wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

The third molars, known simply as your wisdom teeth, are the last permanent teeth to erupt into your mouth some time between the ages of 17 and 21 years old. It is thought that the third molars were given the name "wisdom teeth" because they erupt at a time when a child becomes wiser -- as they enter adulthood.

The average person will develop four wisdom teeth, but that's not always the case for others. Many people develop supernumerary (extra) wisdom teeth or, if you're lucky, others fail to develop some or all of their wisdom teeth altogether.

The average mouth will only comfortably hold 28 of the 32 teeth we are predisposed to have. Since the wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt, there is often little room left to accommodate their size and anatomy, which often causes the wisdom teeth to either:

·           Become impacted under the gum tissue and bone
·           Partially erupt into the mouth, resulting in only part of the tooth exposed above the gumline
·           Fully erupt into the mouth in an undesirable position -- usually tilting forward, pushing on the tooth in front of it.

It is quite possible that each one of your wisdom teeth will erupt differently from one another, for example you could have only one impacted wisdom tooth, and the rest could fully erupt.
During your regular dental check-up, your dentist may take a orthopantomogram x-ray, also known as a panorex, to diagnose whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed. 

This x-ray gives the dentist a clear view of the area around the wisdom teeth, to determine the type of extraction necessary for each wisdom tooth. When the dentist discovers a reason for you to have your wisdom teeth removed he will access the position of the wisdom teeth and how each root is formed. Depending on his findings, your dentist will make the decision to preform the wisdom teeth extractions for you, or refer you to see an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon for your wisdom teeth extractions.

Nutrition and Good Oral Health

Choosing the right foods in your diet is an important aspect in having healthy teeth and good oral hygiene. Establishing good nutritional habits in kids and teenagers can be especially beneficial for good eating patterns and food choices throughout their lives.
How Nutrition affects oral health
The foods that you eat come in contact with the germs and bacteria that live in the mouth. If you don’t brush, plaque will accumulate on the teeth. Plague thrives on the starches and sugars that are found in a great deal of foods. When plaque combines with the sugars and starches, an acid is produced that attacks enamel on the teeth, and eventually causes decay. According to the American Dental Association, the acid attacks the teeth for 20 minutes or more.
Choosing a Healthy Diet
Choosing a healthy diet may sound easy, however, fruits, milk, cereals, bread and some vegetables contain sugars and / or starches. Carbonated sodas, sweet fruit drinks and sugary snack foods should be limited.
You don’t have to avoid these foods, just keep in mind that you should eat a balanced diet, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.
Healthy Tips

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods from the five major food groups

  • Cut down on snacking in between meals

  • Limit snacks and drinks that are high in sugar

  • Brush twice a day

  • Floss Daily

  • Visit your dentist for regular check ups

  • For more information, visit Dentist Geelong
  • How to whiten your teeth for free!

    NOTE: As with anything else, you should always contact your Dentist in Geelong before trying any home remedy.

    As we age our teeth can become yellowish looking and it isn't the most attractive feature. A natural white smile will make any face more attractive looking. Note that I said natural. You do not want to end up looking artificial like so many people who use the wrong teeth whitening products.
    The color of your teeth is dictated in a small way by your genetics and also whether your mother was treated with certain antibiotics whilst she was pregnant. Medical professionals now know that some antibiotics can cause yellow teeth even before birth. They will avoid prescribing these antibiotics where possible unless they are the only viable treatment available.
    Your diet definitely has an impact on the color of your teeth not to mention the health of your gums. If you smoke you are not only ruining your health but you are going to turn your teeth yellow or brown. If you drink a lot of coffee or sugar laden drinks, you will achieve the same effect. You cannot expect a mouth full of white teeth if your diet is comprised of ready meals, sodas and sweets.

    The good news is that you can limit the damage you impose on your mouth and also you can improve the appearance of your teeth with a little extra care. First make an appointment to see your dentist for a checkup. While you are there see the hygienist for a full cleanup. This will improve your looks considerably. Don't ask them to whiten your teeth as it will be expensive and may not look natural. Make it a rule to see your dentist every six months and bring your children with you. Healthy teeth begin in childhood.

    Now you have had your teeth professionally cleaned, it is important that you follow a proper teeth maintenance plan. Not only do you have to brush after every meal and before you go to bed but you have to floss regularly as well. Gargle with water to flush out any remaining food so the bacteria present in your mouth have nothing to feast on. Forget about rubbing your teeth with lemon as the acid will ruin your tooth enamel. Baking soda pastes are ok if used once in a while but not every day. You will weaken your teeth leaving them susceptible to damage.

    Eat a teeth whitening diet. Apples and strawberries are natural cleansers to make sure you include at least one portion in your daily diet. Cut the drinks we mentioned above but also lay off the candy and sugar laden cakes and biscuits. You want to eat a healthier diet including a wide variety of vegetables. On the topic of diets, give up any faddy ones that you are currently pursuing. The healthiest eating plan is one that allows you any food you want in moderation. You will have answered the question of how to get teeth white if you follow these tips.

    For more great information, log on to our website at

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Dentist in Geelong

    Welcome to our Dentist in Geelong blog!

    This is our first post ever! We hope you enjoy your time here on our blog and continue to visit, from time to time.

    We would like to welcome you all to our website, Geelong Dentist, visit any time!