Wisdom Teeth

There are normally two wisdom teeth in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw, but some people have fewer than four or even none at all. Wisdom teeth tend to erupt in late teens or early 20’s and can cause various oral health or dental problems, including overcrowding and impaction.

Since they’re last to erupt, there may not be enough room in the jaw for the erupting wisdom teeth. This may stall their eruption and make brushing and flossing these teeth difficult. Food and bacteria often become trapped between the wisdom tooth and its neighbouring molar tooth, which may cause tooth decay and gum infections. A wisdom tooth that grows on an angle can’t contribute to chewing, which makes it useless and at times painful.

Crowded wisdom teeth in the upper jaw have a tendency to lean sideways and grate against the cheek. This may cause ulcers on the cheek and chewing problems. The pressure from wisdom teeth may also force the other teeth closer together and interfere with a person’s bite.

We will take x-rays to determine the growth pattern of the wisdom teeth and assess which wisdom teeth will be functional and which ones need to be removed. Sometimes, a person may need all of the wisdom teeth extracted.

Since tooth roots are not fully developed when wisdom teeth are still developing or erupting, and as tooth extractions that occur before age 20 tend to have fewer complications, dentists generally recommend removing impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth in young adults.