Are You Wise on Wisdom Teeth?

Adults have 32 teeth that each has a specific purpose. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically erupt in the very back of the mouth when a person is between the ages of 17-25. Normally, there are four wisdom teeth: two on top, and two on bottom. However, some people have more; these are called supernumerary teeth. A few people have less than four third molars – lucky!

In prehistoric time, humans needed wisdom teeth to help digest roots, nuts, and barks. Today, our diet doesn’t require such sever mastication. Many people find their wisdom teeth to be a pain in the neck – or jaw.

The average mouth is designed to hold 28 teeth. When the jaw isn’t large enough to hold all 32 teeth, the wisdom teeth can grow sideways, partially emerge, or remain trapped below the gums.

When these not-so-smart teeth only partially emerge or become impacted, they fail to come through the gum bed. A soft tissue flap forms. The flap can be difficult to clean, so food and debris may lodge there and contribute to tooth decay or infection. If the wisdom teeth fail to emerge, a cyst can form and harm surrounding bone and teeth.

Swelling, difficulty opening the mouth, bad odor or taste, and pain are common complications from problematic wisdom teeth. If untreated, wisdom teeth can lead to very serious and apparent problems.

If your back teeth hurt, or you know that they are not emerging properly, one of our Pannu Dental Care dentists can perform a dental exam and take x-rays to decide if extraction is best for your oral health and comfort. We have specialists on staff, so all of your dental care needs will be met in our comfortable and familiar office. For regular check-ups or to schedule a consultation, contact Pannu Dental Care in Cupertino, San Jose, Fremont, or Dublin, CA.

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