What are Wisdom Teeth?
A wisdom tooth, in humans, is any of the usual 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 fewer or more, in which case the extras are called supernumerary teeth. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.” Wisdom teeth commonly affect other teeth as they develop, becoming impacted or “coming in sideways.” They are often extracted when this occurs.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to show up within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not happen very frequently and the teeth become impacted. The extraction of wisdom teeth then becomes required. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum and potentially remain stuck beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth attempt many paths in the bone as they attempt to find a way that will allow them to successfully erupt.
These dangerously positioned impacted teeth can cause many serious problems. If the teeth partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will gradually cause an infection. The resulting swelling, stiffness, pain and illness can be a very serious health issue. The pressure from the impacted wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of your teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth that result in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal impacted teeth usually resolves these problems especially if they are removed early. Early removal is the recommended choice so as to avoid future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.