Traditional Oral Surgery

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth usually emerge from the gum (erupt) between the ages of 17 and 24. They are the last of the molar teeth, which are the large grinding teeth at the back of the mouth. Some people never develop wisdom teeth, others have up to four - one in each corner of the mouth.

Wisdom teeth often cause no problems. They are described as impacted when there is not enough space for them at the back of the mouth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, infection or damage to the teeth next to them. If the gum around the wisdom tooth is swollen the jaw may become stiff and sore. Infection at the back of the mouth can cause bad breath and a bad taste.

The surgical removal (extraction) of one or more wisdom teeth can relieve these problems. However, removing the wisdom teeth does not usually improve crookedness or crowding in other teeth.

People who have problems such as infection, cysts or tumours, tooth decay, or gum disease around a wisdom tooth should think about having it removed.

People who have impacted wisdom teeth that are not causing problems do not need to have them removed.

 

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