Wisdom Teeth

Definition
Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars on each side of the upper and lower jaws. They are also the final teeth to erupt; they usually appear when a person is in their late teens or early twenties. In fact, they are called wisdom teeth because you are supposed to be much wiser by the time they erupt!

Signs & Symptoms
Wisdom teeth that come in crooked or partially emerge can cause painful crowding and disease. Wisdom teeth that are removed before age 20 have less developed roots which lead to fewer complications. The American Dental Association recommends that people between 16 and 19 have their wisdom teeth evaluated to see if they need to be removed.

Common Causes
There few common causes for wisdom teeth removal. Your jaw may be too small for your third molars, which can cause them to become impacted and unable to break through the gum. They can also break only part of the way through your gums, which can cause a flap called Pericoronitis that traps germs. Lastly, impacted teeth can cause damage to teeth or cysts, and more commonly, infection.

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