Wisdom Teeth

You would think that wisdom teeth would make you smarter, but unfortunately, they do not. They are called wisdom teeth, because they usually come in when you are between the ages of 17 and 21. There are two on top and two on the bottom at the very back of the mouth and finish out your total adult set of 32 teeth.

It is normal to have some discomfort when they erupt, but if there is outright pain, you should call your dentist. If these molars come in correctly, they provide you with the strongest and widest teeth to help chew food.

Most difficulties with the wisdom teeth are because there isn’t enough room for them to come in or if they come through in the wrong position. If they become trapped under the gums or in the jaw, they are called impacted. Some 10 million wisdom teeth are removed in the United States each year. The main reason is impaction. Other problems would include:

  • Damage to neighboring teeth
  • Tooth decay (from food and bacteria caught in between)
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Cysts
  • Gum disease

Even if these teeth come in correctly, they need to be monitored for the rest of your life. You could still have problems in the future.