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Get to Know Your Wisdom Teeth

November 1, 2022

Third molars are called “wisdom teeth” because they usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. That’s when we’re supposed to be maturing and, in the process, gaining insight and intelligence. Those four choppers came in handy when our predecessors needed them to pulverize their diets of nuts, twigs and raw meat, but those days are long gone. Wisdom teeth are usually nuisances if they erupt in the wrong position or if your mouth can’t accommodate them. A dentist might have to remove them. 

The office of Clara M. Hyun, DMD is an expert in the field of dentistry. We will gladly take as much time as needed to tell you about the health of your teeth, explain to you in detail any issues you have, and offer clear explanations of your treatment options.

Wisdom teeth are impacted if they’re trapped under your gums or in your jaw, which invites a host of problems. An impacted tooth can cause a cyst to form on or near it, which could damage the roots of nearby teeth or injure the supporting bone. 

Wisdoms that erupt in incorrect positions hinder effective flossing between them and the molars in front of them. Food can get stuck, grow bacteria and lead to cavities. Even worse, partial eruptions give bacteria entries into gums and subsequent invitations for infections. Wisdoms without enough room to come through can misalign and damage nearby teeth. 

Though each patient is unique, there are particular conditions in which wisdom teeth must be extracted. Those conditions include pain, infection, tumors, damage to nearby teeth, cysts, gum disease, tooth decay and preparation for orthodontic treatment. (Fun fact: Some people, for genetic reasons, develop no or only two wisdom teeth.)

Before deciding on a course of action (if needed), a dentist will X-ray the area and monitor the wisdoms’ development. You and she (or he) will talk over the best treatment approach. 

The dentist will continue to monitor the wisdoms that stay in place because issues could crop up down the road. 

Clara M. Hyun, DMD is dedicated to providing excellent and considerate care. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us today for an appointment. We look forward to finding out how we can help you.