Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars. They’ve been called wisdom teeth at least since the nineteenth century. The reason for that is because for most people, they come in during the late teens or early twenties, the time of life when we are supposedly gaining our adult wisdom.
For some people, wisdom teeth are never a problem. Unfortunately, they’re in the minority. Wisdom teeth have a way of coming in crooked, which can cause problems. Since they’re our third set of molars, they can also crowd the gums and jaws, leading to pain, and even disease.
Another reason that wisdom teeth cause problems is that since they’re way in the back of the jaw, they’re the hardest teeth to reach when you brush and floss. Using a long and slender toothbrush can help.
But other problems are associated with wisdom teeth. If they don’t come in all the way, and remain covered by gum tissue, they are called impacted. Cysts may form beneath these impacted teeth, which can cause bone loss and pressure on the jaw’s nerves.
Most people can have their wisdom teeth pulled without a second thought. An extraction is a fairly routine procedure. The reason we recommend having wisdom teeth extracted no later than around the age of twenty is that there are fewer complications, because the roots are less developed.
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