Your wisdom tooth is the third molar in your jaw and it is the last to erupt. It usually appears between the ages of 16 and 25. Most adult have four wisdom teeth, but it is possible to have less or more. Wisdom teeth are generally extracted to correct a current problem or to prevent a future problem. When the wisdom teeth starts to erupt a number of complications may occur:
- Your wisdom tooth may be partial exposed through your gums. The opening around the exposed tooth allows food and germs to get trapped and this causes bacteria to grow underneath the gums. This result in swelling, pain, and jaw stiffness. These are signs of a bacterial infection.
- Your wisdom tooth may be impacted, and unable to break through your gums. This happens when your jaw does not have enough room for them.
- More serious problems can develop from impacted teeth which is that tumors or cysts can form around the area resulting in the destruction of the jaw bone.
- One or more of your wisdom teeth may come in at an awkward angle or grow sideways.
The idea of getting your wisdom teeth removed is a scary thought but your doctor is trained, licensed, and experienced in providing anesthesia to make the procedure more comfortable. In younger adults (late teens and early 20s), the wisdom tooth has not fully developed and the jaw bone is less dense therefore early removal is recommended. So remember, the easier it is to remove the tooth, the easier your recovery is likely to be. Your jaw will thank you later.