Most adults develop their third set of molars when they are between the ages 17 and 21. These teeth are called “wisdom teeth” since they are the last ones to erupt, implying that people are probably "wiser" when these teeth emerge.
When your jaw is too small to accommodate wisdom teeth, they might not always erupt through the gums. They might get impacted in the jaw and cause pain, swelling, and infection in the gums or crowding of the teeth. The infection could lead to the formation of a cyst, damaging the bone or roots of the tooth. Also, fully-emerged wisdom teeth are more prone to cavities as they are not easy to reach with a toothbrush.
On the other hand, wisdom teeth usually do not cause any concerns if they are:
Wisdom teeth may need to be removed in the following circumstances:
It is best to remove your wisdom teeth if they are impacted, crowded, or are causing infection, inflammation, or damage to the other teeth. However, if your wisdom teeth have erupted properly, in an upright and functional position, and they don’t cause pain, cavities, or infection, they often don't need to be removed. It is important that you take extra care while brushing and flossing them to avoid decay in the future.
Call Dental Health PC, Corvallis, OR at (541) 757-1829 to talk to our dentist if your wisdom tooth is causing problems.
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