Typically wisdom teeth start to erupt, or grow into the mouth, in people aged between 16 years to 26 year olds. They derive their name "wisdom teeth" from this being the time of the "getting of wisdom" as you progress from "youth" to "adulthood".
Wisdom teeth are the third of the molar series of teeth to grow in your mouth (the first molars grow when you are about 6 years and the second molars grow when you are about 12 years old). There is four wisdom teeth in total. Two upper wisdom teeth and two lower wisdom teeth. The total number of teeth in the mouth is 32.
Sometimes wisdom teeth are missing from the mouth because they remain under the gums. A radiograph or x-ray will show whether the tooth is actually missing altogether or just remaining within the jaw bones. Sometimes they do not form at all.
What problems can wisdom teeth cause?
Un-erupted wisdom teeth: These are teeth that have not grown into the mouth. Usually when teeth don't grow into the mouth it is because they don't have enough room to fit in.
Cyst formation: A totally un-erupted wisdom tooth may be surrounded by fluid. A cyst can form and this may damage adjacent teeth, the jaw and nerves. Often the only way this problem is detected is by radiographs (x-rays).
Pain :As the wisdom teeth move through bone and gum to their final position people may experience some degree of pain or discomfort. This can be due to infected gums or may be part of the normal process of eruption.
Infected gums: A tooth that has partially broken through the gums allows bacteria to enter the area around the crown of the tooth. Bacteria can breed and cleaning this area can be nearly impossible. This condition is known as "pericoronitis" ( infection around the crown).
Decay: A tooth that is partially covered by gum may get decay. This decay may be hard to treat.
Crowding: Wisdom teeth may not have enough room to come into the mouth in a good position for cleaning and eating. Sometimes they come through at strange angles and may cause uneven wear on other teeth. Sometimes dentists and orthodontists feel that removing the wisdom teeth early may eliminate the potential for wisdom teeth to cause crowding.
Looking After Wisdom Teeth
Regular dental check-ups
Chlorhexidine mouth rinse in mild infection in gums
"Teething gel" if gums are sore during eruption
Beware of popcorn and apple peel when teeth are not totally erupted
At Dento Mak we care about you and your teeth and gums If you are concerned and feel you want advice on these important issues call our professional team today our qualified dentists here at Dento Mak Epping will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to determine the appropriate treatment course for you.