WISDOM TEETHWhat are wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the last set of teeth to develop. The third molars usually grow in at around age 17 to 20. Since this is considered the age when teens become wiser, the third molars have adopted the nickname, "wisdom teeth".
Why should I remove my wisdom teeth? Sometimes when the third molars emerge, the jaw has enough room, but most of the time, space is limited. Usually, one or more of these teeth emerge out of alignment or fail to fully emerge, in which case they become "impacted", or trapped between the bone and the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause many problems, including pain, swelling, and infection of the gum, decay, periodontal disease, and malalignment of orthodontically treated teeth. Impacted teeth can also cause permanent damage to the gum and nearby teeth, and can lead to the formation of cysts or tumors. Therefore, the removal of impacted wisdom teeth is recommended.
What treatment options are available? If one or more of your wisdom teeth are likely to cause problems, early removal is often recommended.