The third molars, commonly called wisdom teeth, typically erupt when a person is in the late teens or early 20s. Wisdom teeth may break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them where food can become trapped and a gum infection can develop. Wisdom teeth can also come in crooked or facing the wrong direction. Or, if your jaw is not large enough to give them room, wisdom teeth may become impacted and unable to break through your gums. You may have trouble properly cleaning around wisdom teeth because they are so far in the back of your mouth and may be crowded. Most problems with wisdom teeth develop in people between the ages of 15 and 25.
- The most common treatment for wisdom tooth problems is removal (extraction) of the tooth. Experts disagree about whether to remove a wisdom tooth that is not causing symptoms or problems. Oral surgeons generally agree that removing a wisdom tooth is easier on the patient in younger people (usually in their early 20s), when the tooth's roots and the jawbone are not completely developed. In the late 20s and older, the jawbone tends to get harder, and healing generally takes longer.
- Every patient is different. Dr. Allen would be happy to discuss your individual needs and treatment options.