Third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, typically appear between the ages of 17 to 25. Adults typically have four wisdom teeth, which typically become impacted and require removal.
Wisdom Teeth Facts
- Studies conducted by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons found that an estimated 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed.
- About 35% of the human population is born without wisdom teeth.
- Japanese researchers recently discovered that wisdom teeth could harvest induced pluripotent stem cells.
- Third molars are called “wisdom teeth” because they grow around the age of 17-25, which is referred to as the “age of wisdom.”
Impacted Wisdom Teeth:
Soft Tissue Impaction: This occurs when the crown has entered through the bone and the gum covers either part or all of the tooth’s crown and is improperly
positioned around the tooth. Soft tissue impaction makes it difficult to keep the area clean, which causes food to become trapped below the gum and leads to an infection and/or tooth decay. Pain and swelling are common during soft tissue impaction.
Partial Bony Impaction: This occurs when the tooth has somewhat erupted, but a portion of the crown remains sunken below the gum and surrounding jawbone. Similar to a soft tissue impaction, this may lead to infection and/or tooth decay.
Complete Bony Impaction: This occurs when the tooth is completely enclosed by the jawbone. A complete bony impaction will need more complex removal techniques.
Why dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth
- Impacted wisdom teeth may cause damage to nearby teeth, which could lead to tooth decay, gum disease and bone loss.
- Impacted wisdom teeth can rarely cause cysts and tumors in the surrounding areas.
- Infections may occur due to trapped bacteria and food under the gum tissue.
- Some dentists believe that misalignment may occur by crowding or twisting the teeth as a result of impacted wisdom teeth.