What are wisdom teeth?
The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge from your gums, typically appearing in young adults between the ages of 17 and 25. In most adults there are four wisdom teeth, two top third molars and two bottom third molars.
Why would I need my wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth removal is recommended for a number of reasons.
- Removal of the wisdom teeth can become necessary when they attempt to erupt but do not have enough room to do so. This can lead to pain or swelling or pressure on the adjacent teeth. Wisdom tooth eruption can lead to damage to the teeth in front of them.
- Wisdom teeth can also be too far posterior in the mouth to easily access and clean. This can lead to dental caries or build-up of bacteria around the gums of the wisdom teeth. As a result, swelling and pain, or the facilitation of the beginning of localized gum disease in the area, can then spread. Hygienically speaking, it is generally best to have wisdom teeth removed—unless there is enough room for their eruption and proper access for cleaning.
- Wisdom teeth may also need to be removed when they fail to erupt at all, or become “impacted” between the jawbone and the gum tissue.This condition can lead to chronic pain and infection if left untreated. Using proper dental x-rays and intraoral examination, it can be easily determined whether or not the wisdom teeth should be removed or monitored.