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What You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth

August 18th, 2023

Do you have a third set of molars? These are called your wisdom teeth – and no they do not make you smarter! You may have some questions about wisdom teeth so here are some facts that will provide you with the information you need to learn all about wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth are the last set of adult teeth to grow in and are located at the very back of your mouth. There are usually four in total – two on top and two on the bottom to complete a set of 32 adult teeth. However, not everyone gets all four of them and some people don’t get any at all! Which is not a problem if you don’t have them as we do not really need these molars. They usually appear long after the rest of the adult teeth have already grown in, typically between the ages of 17 and 25.

For some people wisdom teeth can grow in properly and never cause any trouble therefore they can remain in your mouth. Yet for others, wisdom teeth can become partially or fully trapped (impacted) under your gums or bone tissue. When this happens, unfortunately, it can cause many oral health issues such as infection, cavities, gum disease, overcrowding, difficulty chewing, pain, bad breath, and damage to the jawline or other teeth. You’re more likely to have issues with these molars than with any other teeth. This is why many dentists will recommend having your wisdom teeth removed. X-rays will help to tell if your wisdom teeth might lead to problems. When the dentist examines your teeth, some signs they look for include lesions (abnormal-looking tissue), damage to nearby teeth, bone loss around roots, and not enough room to brush and floss around the tooth.

You can have wisdom teeth taken out at any age if they are causing problems, but the ideal age is between 18 and 24. The soonest a wisdom tooth can be extracted is when the root has developed to about two-thirds of its full size.

Thankfully with today’s modern technology, wisdom teeth extractions are a commonplace procedure with little discomfort during recovery. The removal of impacted wisdom teeth is best suited for the expert training of an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon your dentist can refer you to. There are two options for the procedure: you can stay awake and choose to just be numbed or most people choose to undergo full anesthesia, where you’ll fall asleep and wake up when it’s over.

If you feel your wisdom teeth are causing you issues, please give us a call to make an appointment to have them checked.



Posted in Children's Dentistry, Dental Care, Dental Services, Health