Your wisdom teeth, or your third set of molars, typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. They’re called your wisdom teeth because you’re older and (hopefully) wiser than you were when the rest of your adult teeth emerged. Your first molars usually appear when you’re six and your second set generally around the age of 12.
Your molars are the flat teeth in the back of your mouth that you use to grind food before swallowing, while the teeth at the front of your mouth are for biting and tearing. You don’t need three sets of molars. In fact, some people’s wisdom teeth never emerge at all.
How can you tell when your wisdom teeth are emerging?
A few lucky people have their wisdom teeth emerge without any problems. However, others may suffer from some painful symptoms, and around 85% of people have such severe problems with their wisdom teeth that they need an expert oral surgeon to remove them.
If you have dental checkups every six months as recommended, your dentist should be able to tell you if your wisdom teeth are coming in. They can even use dental X-rays to predict problems before your wisdom teeth erupt.
However, if your wisdom teeth erupt between dental visits, you may experience:
- Pressure or a throbbing sensation at the back of your jaw
- Swollen gums
- Visible cuts or breaks in your gums
- Jaw pain
You might also find that vigorous brushing or flossing relieves the pain or pressure in your jaw.
Other dental conditions can cause similar symptoms. For example, if you have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you may also have jaw pain or pressure, headaches, and earaches.
Tooth sensitivity or pain when you bite down, on the other hand, is an indicator of a cavity.
If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, talk to your dentist. Many people need to have their wisdom teeth removed to protect the rest of their teeth. If you need to have your teeth removed, your dentist provides a referral to an oral surgeon and the team at Fairfield Oral Surgery and Implantology takes over.
Why would I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
One of the most common reasons that you might need to have your wisdom teeth removed is because you don’t have enough room in your jaw for them. If this is the case, your wisdom teeth can push your remaining teeth closer together, causing overlapping and crowding. When your teeth are too close together, it’s more challenging to keep them clean and floss, which increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Another common reason for wisdom teeth extraction is impaction. When your wisdom teeth are impacted, that means they’re stuck in your jaw and can’t emerge. Your teeth could partially emerge or get trapped below your gums. In both cases, impacted wisdom teeth increase your risk of infection and abscesses.
If you’re looking for an expert oral surgeon who can remove your wisdom teeth, schedule a consultation at Fairfield Oral Surgery and Implantology. The surgeons have extensive training and years of experience. While wisdom tooth extraction is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States, you still want to know that you’re in skilled hands.