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Wise Advice on Wisdom Teeth

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wisdom tooth

The mouth changes with age. At the age of 17-21 years wisdom teeth begin to appear. Historically they have been referred to as wisdom teeth because they come at an advanced age. When they come through correctly, healthy wisdom teeth can help you chew. It’s normal to feel a little discomfort when your wisdom teeth appear, but if you have pain, see your dentist immediately.

Room to grow.

Wisdom teeth can lead to problems if there isn’t enough space for them to surface or they sprout in the wrong position. If your dentist says your wisdom teeth are impacted, he or she means they are trapped in your jaw or under your gums.

As your wisdom teeth make their way through your gums, your dentist will be monitoring your mouth for signs of the following:

• Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the right position can allow food to be trapped. That gives cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow.

• Wisdom teeth that haven’t sprouted properly, which can make it difficult to floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them.

• Wisdom teeth that have partially sprouted can give bacteria a chance to infect the gums which may also lead to pain, swelling and stiffness in your jaw.

• Wisdom teeth that don’t have room to sprout are thought by some to crowd or damage neighbouring teeth.

A wisdom tooth that is impacted can form a cyst on or near the impacted tooth. This could damage the roots of nearby teeth or destroy the bone that supports your teeth. Why you might have your wisdom teeth removed.

Every patient is unique,

but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:

• Pain

• Infection

• Cysts

• Tumours

• Damage to neighbouring teeth

• Gum disease

• Tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)

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