Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to emerge in a mouth. They typically erupt (emerge) when people are in their late teens or early twenties. Most adults have four wisdom teeth, but it is possible to have more, fewer or even none at all.
If wisdom teeth grow in properly and fit around existing teeth well, they can be left untreated. However, most times wisdom teeth do not grow in properly, as most adults’ mouths are fully developed and the jaw does not have room to accommodate wisdom teeth’s late arrival. When wisdom teeth do not grow in properly, they can become stuck underneath the gum line, resulting in “impacted wisdom teeth.” This can cause swelling, severe pain, and infection in the gum tissue. As they try to erupt, wisdom teeth can also cause shifting of the existing teeth in your mouth.
Why are they called wisdom teeth?
Since third molars erupt into the mouth when people are in their late teens or early twenties, the “Age of Wisdom,” they are affectionately called wisdom teeth.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth extraction may be necessary if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Pain or infection
- Cysts or tumors
- Gum disease around the wisdom tooth area
- Tooth decay that cannot be repaired
- The effectiveness of orthodontic, restorative or periodontal treatment plan will be hindered by your wisdom teeth
- Impacted or poorly aligned teeth
Removing wisdom teeth is just like extracting any other tooth. Your Dental Associates oral surgeon will discuss your individual situation with you and let you know exactly what’s involved with wisdom teeth extraction and how we can manage any of your concerns.
Have questions about wisdom teeth surgery? Consult our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery FAQs page for answers to common questions.
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