Not everyone develops wisdom teeth. However, those that do usually see their wisdom teeth push through the gums or remain impacted between ages 17-21.
Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth and may not begin to emerge until late teens or early twenties. Most people get four wisdom teeth – one in each corner of the mouth.
The arrival of these late-breaking teeth can cause trouble as they are often impacted (trapped in the jawbone) because there is not enough room for them in the mouth. Our jaws are a lot smaller than those of our early human ancestors, who needed bigger jaws and more teeth for the type of food they chewed. In most people, wisdom teeth can do more harm than good and we often recommend their removal.
It can take a long time for wisdom teeth to erupt and you may not even notice the harmful effects in your mouth until you experience sudden and severe discomfort. Cramped for room, impacted wisdom teeth grow out at odd angles or remain trapped below the gumline. Adjacent teeth can become prone to decay because of the unfavourable position of the wisdom teeth.
By looking at your medical history, examining your teeth and taking x-rays, we’re better able to predict if your wisdom teeth may cause distress in the future. If you have a current or potential dental problem, early removal may be necessary.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. Medication, close monitoring, and special cleaning techniques are sometimes enough to keep them for a while. But the only way you will know for sure is to have an examination done at our dental office as early as possible.
Watch this video to learn more about wisdom teeth treatment.
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