About Wisdom Teeth
By the age of 18, most adults will have 32 total teeth. However, nearly 90% of adults will only have the approximate jaw size to hold 28. Those extra four teeth are typically the third molars, or "wisdom teeth." some people are born without these "extra" teeth – in fact, they are the most common teeth to be born without – but for the rest of us, the extra teeth in the jaw causes problems. When the wisdom teeth come in (years after the rest of our permanent teeth), there is often little to no space for them to erupt. This forces them into strange positions, or to grow into spaces they were not meant to – a condition called "impaction". This can damage the wisdom teeth and the surrounding teeth and tissues, including the possibility of cysts, abscesses, tumors and other maladies.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result. To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. You will be referred to your dentist or an oral surgeon for a more comprehensive assessment. If indicated, your dentist or oral surgeon will also carry out the procedure.