What Are Wisdom Teeth?Also known as your third molars, wisdom teeth are the last to develop in your mouth. They typically appear in your late teens or early twenties. Most people have one in each corner of their mouth, for a total of four wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth were once thought to be necessary for chewing food. However, they are now considered vestigial, which means they are no longer necessary for our survival. Wisdom teeth are the last ones to erupt in your mouth, making it difficult to clean since they are often located in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. This can lead to problems such as decay or infection.
What Are the Problems with Wisdom Teeth?While some people never experience any problems with their wisdom teeth, others may need to have them removed for various reasons. Some common reasons for wisdom teeth removal include:
- Crowding – Wisdom teeth can crowd other teeth in your mouth and cause problems with alignment.
- Infection – If wisdom teeth become infected, they can cause serious problems. Infected wisdom teeth can damage the surrounding teeth and even lead to bone loss.
- Cysts – Fluid-filled sacs can form around wisdom teeth, causing damage to the surrounding teeth and bone.
- Tumors – While rare, tumors can form around wisdom teeth.