One of the most common dreaded chapters in one’s life is when the wisdom teeth start to ‘grow’ inside the mouth. Do you still remember your ‘wisdom teeth’ moment?
Wisdom teeth, or the third molars, come at the time called the "age of wisdom", between the ages 17 and 25. They are the last teeth to erupt at the very back of the mouth, and many times, they don’t have enough room to grow properly.
SEE ALSO: Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Signs of Trouble
Wisdom teeth may be positioned at different angles in the jaw, sometimes even horizontally. For some, wisdom teeth may only partially emerge through the gums or remain completely hidden, impacted and trapped within the jaw.
Because they are difficult to brush and clean, an impacted wisdom tooth may become infected. It may cause immense pain and even damage its adjacent tooth.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons say that wisdom teeth may not need to be extracted if they grow in completely and are functional, painless, cavity-free, disease-free and in a hygienic environment with healthy gum tissue. They do, however, require regular, professional cleaning, annual check-ups and periodic X-rays to monitor for any changes.
According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth extraction may be necessary if there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:
- damage to neighboring teeth
- gum disease
- tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)
The assessment of the health and position of your wisdom teeth is a part of a regular dental visit. Since the condition of the mouth changes over time, we suggest that you continuously have your wisdom teeth monitored.