Wisdom teeth are the third (and the last) molars which appear at the back of your mouth, typically between the ages of 17 – 21 years. While few of the people may not have any issues with them coming through, many others find them problematic.
Why are they called Wisdom Teeth?
In dental terminology these teeth are called third molars. Due to the age when they erupt (late teenage or just after that) it’s the time when people are getting wise (if they really are 😊). Hence because of the age when they erupt, they are also called wisdom teeth.
Some people get no or only one or two wisdom teeth while others get all 4 of them. You may experience problems with your wisdom teeth if any of the following occur:
- Your wisdom teeth erupt from the gums partially due to the lack of space in your mouth. This causes a flap of gum tissue to develop over the teeth, which may trap food and contribute to a gum infection. This is the most common issue that happens with erupting wisdom teeth.
- Your jaw does not have enough room to accommodate your wisdom teeth. This causes the teeth to get stuck in your jaw without being able to break through the gums. Such teeth are referred to as impacted teeth.
- There is often a pocket between the wisdom tooth and the tooth just in front which is difficult to keep clean. The food keeps getting deposited there and many times even our normal cleaning methods can’t keep it clean. This may lead to decay starting in the wisdom tooth, or worse, in the molar in front leading to serious problems.
- The teeth grow slanted or face the wrong direction.
- They are too far at the back. This makes it difficult to clean around them and they get cavities.
- Many orthodontists believe that the pressure from the eruption of the developing wisdom teeth can cause the front teeth to become overcrowded,
and hence removal of wisdom teeth is often recommended before or immediately after Invisalign or braces treatment.