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Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth or third molars generally appear after the age of 18-25 years old. Beyond the age of 25 years old, it may be inferred that wisdom teeth will remain below the gums and will not attempt to come through.

A person will have 4 wisdom teeth in total, one in each quarter of the mouth. While they may grow without causing any pain, this is rarely the case. When there is no room for a wisdom tooth to grow, it gets stuck on the second molar, or impacted, and this is what causes pain in the area.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

In the past, the jaw would grow to support wisdom teeth at the expected age of growth. With variations in diet. Our ancestors had diets that mainly consisted of raw meat, nuts, berries, roots and leaves. This meant chewing teeth were frequently used and jaws subsequently grew with time.

In modern days, we tend to cut up our food, boil, and steam so that food is rarely eaten raw. This means our jaws do not grow to accommodate wisdom teeth.

What problems can wisdom teeth cause?

When wisdom teeth are impacted, they can cause problems with opposing teeth as well as surrounding gums including:

  • Jaw pain
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding gums
  • If they are peaking through the gums then they cause a plaque trap that can lead to malodor, bad taste and decay to not only the wisdom tooth but the tooth next to it also.
  • Poor gum health
  • Damage to the roots of adjacent teeth

Do wisdom teeth need to be pulled?

If a wisdom tooth is causing the problems listed above, then it is indicated for extraction. If there is no room for it to grow, then these problems can be predicted before they occur. This allows patients to plan ahead and schedule a recovery period of time away from work or school. Other prefer to extract wisdom teeth as problems are presented. 

If you’re still unsure of what to do with your wisdom teeth, book in a complimentary wisdom tooth consult with the team at Sensational Smiles for an individualized assessment of your wisdom teeth!