Posted on 2/6/2023 by Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery
You may have never counted your teeth before. It wouldn't be surprising if you never stopped to think about how many teeth you have. Most adults have 32 teeth by the time they reach adulthood. All of your teeth are very important, but there are four teeth that can cause a problem before they even erupt. These are called wisdom teeth. Here is some information about wisdom teeth, and why they sometimes cause a problem for adults.
Wisdom teeth are also called third molars. They are the last teeth to erupt in adults. Depending on the adult, you can get your wisdom teeth any time between the age of 16 and your mid-20s. Some adults never get wisdom teeth at all. The third molars are called wisdom teeth because you are supposed to be a wise adult when they appear.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth a Problem?
Most of the time, wisdom teeth aren't a problem. In fact, 35% of adults never get wisdom teeth at all. There are times though when wisdom teeth can cause problems. If you have a small, crowded jaw, you may have no room for wisdom teeth. Also, some wisdom teeth are impacted, which means they aren't going to erupt. If they aren't causing a problem, most dentists opt to leave the wisdom teeth where they are. However, sometimes impacted wisdom teeth can cause headaches, jaw pain, and even an infection if they become abscessed.
If your wisdom teeth start causing you trouble, it's time to get them removed. You can remove all four of your wisdom teeth or only the teeth that are impacted or problematic. Wisdom teeth removal is considered a minor surgery. Most people who get their wisdom teeth removed can go back to work or school in a day or two without trouble. If you have jaw pain or frequent headaches, it might be time to have a dentist take a look at your mouth to see if you need your wisdom teeth removed.
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