Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. This generally occurs between the ages of 17 and 25. Unfortunately, most people do not have adequate space and the third molars are not able to emerge. These teeth are considered impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can be prevented from erupting by overlying gum tissue, bone or another tooth. This can be painful and lead to infection. In addition, these teeth can cause crowding and damage to adjacent teeth or roots. Not all problems related to third molars are painful or visible. Damage can occur without you being aware. Even wisdom teeth which have erupted into the mouth in a normal, upright position can be prone to disease, hygiene problems and complications.
When Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
It is not wise to wait until the wisdom teeth cause problems to have them removed. No one can predict when third molar difficulties will occur, but when they do, the circumstances can be much more painful and the teeth more difficult to treat. In general, earlier removal results in a less complicated and shorter healing process. It is strongly recommended that third molars be removed by the time the patient is a young adult in order to prevent future problems and ensure optimal healing.