Wisdom teeth are essentially third molars leftover from a time in human evolution when our ancient ancestors ate a lot of hard foods and roots. They develop inside the gums at the same time as your permanent teeth. While most people have four wisdom teeth, it’s not uncommon to have none or as many as six!
For most people their wisdom teeth to emerge from the gums in late adolescence. The first symptom is a dull ache in the gums or jaw at the rear of the mouth.
Because there isn’t a lot of available space in the back of the mouth, your wisdom teeth can easily become crowded or impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth often become stuck sideways or remain buried in the gums. This can place a large amount of pressure on your healthy molars and can potentially damage them.
Even if your wisdom teeth emerge from the gums without incident, they will still be subject to plaque and tartar buildup. Because of their location they are often hard to clean. This makes them more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.
It’s a good idea to have your wisdom teeth removed in late adolescence. As you age your wisdom teeth can become partially fused to the jawbone, making them harder to extract later in life.
If you would like advice or a consultation about a possible extraction procedure, feel free to call us at 563-927-4746 to schedule an appointment.