Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that are vestigial and usually appear at the age of 16-25 years. In most adults four wisdom teeth are found but it is possible to have more or less numbers. It is as useful as any other tooth if they are healthy, erupt completely, position correctly and have a perfect bite position. But in most cases this does not happen and require extraction. In most cases they erupt only partially and in other cases they are impacted or trapped within the jaw. Impacted teeth grow horizontally and may also damage adjacent teeth. Partial eruption of wisdom teeth provides space for bacteria to grow and cause infection. Partially erupted teeth are also at a high risk of tooth decay and gum disease as their positioning makes it almost impossible for proper brushing and cleaning. Most dentists recommend the removal of wisdom before they start creating problems like tooth pain, decay, damage to nearby teeth, infections, gum disease etc.
Authored By Dr. Shylaja S Prasad - Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics, Bangalore