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Wisdom teeth, sometimes referred to as the third molars, are vestigial remnants from a time in human history when our ancestors ate a lot of roots and other fibrous foods. They commonly erupt from the gum tissues in late adolescence. While most adults will have four wisdom teeth, it is not uncommon for someone to have fewer.

Wisdom teeth can affect the other teeth in your mouth by applying undue pressure as they emerge. Some wisdom teeth can come in sideways, which means they are impacted and unhealthy. In this case, the most common course of action is to have the wisdom teeth extracted.

Even if you don’t have any problems with your wisdom teeth today, it is still a good idea to have them extracted. Wisdom teeth can be tough to clean, especially if they are only partially erupted from the gums, which can cause additional problems in the future.

Just like any other tooth, wisdom teeth are subject to tooth decay. Over time, plaque and tartar buildup at the gum line and begin the process of periodontal disease, which could affect the bone structure of the surrounding molars.

If wisdom teeth are allowed to remain in the jaw as you reach your 30’s, they can become partially fused to the jawbone. If you develop decay, disease or overcrowding issues that warrant later removal, you could be subject to a much longer recovery time.

A dull ache or pain in the gums or the jawbone near the wisdom teeth is often a sign of a developing problem.

If you would like advice or a consultation about your wisdom teeth and a possible extraction procedure, feel free to call us at 214-613-1500 to schedule an appointment.