Third molars, more commonly referred to and known as wisdom teeth, begin to come in later than the rest of their teeth, when they are around the ages 17-25, during the “age of wisdom”. Recent research has shown that brain development continues and reaches it maximum maturity at age of 25, which justifies why 3rd molars are called wisdom teeth.
It is recommended by many dentists to have wisdom teeth extracted (removed) when the teeth begin to erupt and before causing any problems. Many times the wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow properly and can grow at various angles in the jaw, sometimes even horizontally. Other times wisdom teeth partially erupt through the gums which can be difficult to clean, becoming a magnet for bacteria that cause gum disease and oral infection.
Your Plymouth, MN dentist may request a panoramic radiograph to be taken to see if you have third molars and if they could potentially pose an issue. Other reasons to have wisdom teeth removed include:
Alignment: impacted wisdom teeth can undo the effects of braces, bridges, crowns, partial dentures, or any other type of dental work.
Damage to other teeth: That extra set of molars can push your other teeth around, causing mouth pain and bite problems.
Jaw damage: Cysts can form around the new teeth. If they aren’t treated, they can hollow out your jaw and damage nerves.
Inflamed gums: Tissue around the areas can swell and may be hard to clean.
Sinus issues: Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain, pressure, and congestion.
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Not all wisdom teeth require removal. If they are healthy, fully erupted, positioned correctly and biting properly with their opposite teeth, and able to be properly cleaned, a patient could keep them