Wisdom teeth

A wisdom tooth is in humans any of the usually four third molars

Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25.

Most adults have four wisdom teeth, but it is possible to have more, in which case they are called supernumerary teeth.

Wisdom teeth commonly affect other teeth as they develop, becoming impacted or “coming in sideways”. They are often extracted when this occurs.

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Why do we have wisdom teeth at all if they have to be removed so often?

Human beings once had tougher diets. As our diets became softer and more refined, we no longer needed jaws for strenuous chewing. The jaws failed to develop, leaving little room for third molars. In addition, due to mixing of gene pools, some adults never develop wisdom teeth at all and some end up with more teeth than jaw. Perhaps in the distant future, we won’t have to worry about them at all. Today, most people experience at least one impacted wisdom tooth.

Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth that are not painful seem harmless enough. But if they are not removed early, they often cause problems such as:

  1. INFECTION (PERIOCORONTIS): This infection can cause severe pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and even general illness.
  2. DESTRUCTION OF THE NEXT TOOTH: An impacted tooth may still try to grow where it has no room, eroding the tooth next to it. This is called RESORBTION. Eventually, this could lead to the loss of both teeth.
  3. PAIN: Infection in a decayed wisdom tooth or in the gum around an impacted tooth can cause pain..
  4. CROWDING: An impacted tooth can crowd nearby molars out of alignment. If you are undergoing orthodontic care, we may recommend that your impacted wisdom teeth be removed.
  5. CYSTS: When a tooth is impacted, the sac of tissue around the crown remains in the bone. Occasionally, the sac fills with fluid forming a cyst that can readily destroy or enlarge the bone and endanger surrounding structures.
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