Wisdom teeth are third molars. Normally people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth; upper, lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at around six years of age. The second molars grow into the mouth at around 6 years of age. The second molars grow in about 12 years of age. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around 18 to 20 years of age. Since that is considered to be the age when people become wiser, third molars gained the nickname “wisdom teeth”. Actually, they are no different than any other tooth except that they are the last teeth to erupt, or grow into the mouth. They are just as useful as any other tooth if they grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship, and have a healthy gum tissue around them.
What is an Impaction?
When wisdom teeth are prevented from erupting into the mouth properly, they are referred to as impacted. Teeth that have not erupted are not necessarily impacted. It maybe that it is still too early in someone’s dental development and if time passes they might grow in properly. A dentist must examine a patient’s mouth and his or her radiographs to determine if the teeth are impacted or will not grow in properly. Impacted teeth can result in infection, decay of adjacent teeth, gum disease or formation of a cyst or tumor from the follicle, which is the tissue, which formed the crown of the tooth. Many dentists recommend removal of impacted wisdom teeth to prevent potential problems.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
The following symptoms may indicate that the wisdom teeth have erupted and surfaced, and should be removed before they become impacted – meaning, the teeth have surfaced and have no room in the mouth to grow. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include pain, infection in the mouth, swelling, swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth. It is usually recommended to remove wisdom teeth, as early removal will help eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar. Third molar impaction is the most prevalent medical developmental disorder.