Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth don’t make you smart, but they can create problems. These third molars are the last teeth to erupt and usually appear between the ages of 17 and 21, but can begin causing problems as early as age 13.

Sometimes the teeth don’t always have enough sufficient space at the back of the lower and upper jaw and develop at an angle causing the tooth to jam and become impacted. When this happens, a cyst may form in the tissue surrounding the tooth and can cause deterioration of the jaw bone or the tooth in front.

Frequently, the wisdom teeth only partially erupt, i.e., come above the gums, and become prone to recurrent infection and decay. This condition can lead to swelling, pain and difficulty opening the jaw. The eruption of wisdom teeth can sometimes be painful and may be associated with sore throats, headaches and gum infections. By monitoring the development of your wisdom teeth during regular checkups and dental X-rays, your dentist can determine whether your wisdom teeth have enough space to erupt through the gum, or if they should be removed.