Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Your last teeth to come in, known most commonly as your wisdom teeth, are your third molars. They have been referred to as the "teeth of wisdom" since the Seventeenth Century. Since these late molars usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25, you are thought to have entered adulthood and be "wiser" than when your other teeth erupted.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the teeth farthest back in your jaw. For some people the wisdom teeth only partially erupt, or they may not erupt at all. Unerupted wisdom teeth have the potential to cause problems with neighboring teeth and gums. Teeth that have not erupted through the surface of the gum are often referred to as "impacted". This means that they are being forced against neighboring teeth or bone, preventing them from coming into the mouth in the correct biting position. Since they are the last teeth to come in, space is most likely very limited.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
When wisdom teeth are trapped below the gum line and pushing against neighboring teeth, these molars can cause problems such as infections, cysts, or gum disease. This may cause damage to the roots of important permanent teeth. The best time to remove wisdom teeth is before they cause problems. By the time the tooth develops painful symptoms, significant damage to nearby teeth may have already occurred. If you have questions about wisdom teeth examination or removal, contact our office today.
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