Another Year Wiser

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It’s the end of another school year and you’re another year wiser, but how much do you know about wisdom teeth?

Our third molars have been referred to as “wisdom teeth” for centuries since they typically appear in our late teens or early twenties, when we transition from adolescence into a “wiser” adulthood.

Most people get four wisdom teeth, but some have more, fewer or even none. Sometimes wisdom teeth come in without any problems, but very often this isn’t the case.

If these teeth are so wise, why are they such troublemakers? Because they often become “impacted” — meaning they are trapped in the jawbone or beneath the gums, unable to grow in properly. This can damage the roots of nearby teeth, or create pockets in which bacteria can thrive and cause a gum infection.

 

Impaction isn’t something you’ll necessarily feel — at least not initially. That’s why it’s important to keep up your regular schedule of routine dental visits during the years your wisdom teeth are growing in — usually between the ages of 17 and 21. However, if you feel any pain or notice any other signs of wisdom tooth trouble before your next scheduled dental visit, be wise and call the dental office right away!

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