Your third set of molars are no different to any other tooth, save for the fact that they are the last to erupt, or grow, into the mouth. Because they typically do so at around the age of eighteen to twenty, when adolescents are close to turning into adults, these teeth are commonly referred to as ‘wisdom teeth’.
Normally, people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth: upper and lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at around six years of age. The second molars grow in at around age twelve.
In many cases, wisdom teeth do not grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship, or have healthy gum tissue around them. Often, wisdom teeth improperly erupt and become impacted, requiring them to be extracted or pulled.
Impacted teeth can cause problems , and can lead to infection, decay, cysts, tumours, and gum disease.
To avoid potential problems later in life, your dentist can safely remove impacted wisdom teeth. Your mouth will need to be examined and X-rayed to determine if extraction is appropriate. Depending on the severity of the case, extraction may be performed under local or general anaesthetic.
Common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are:
- Infection in the mouth.
- Facial swelling.
- Swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed after the roots are formed, or at least three-fourths developed. This primarily occurs within the adolescent years.