Wise Up! All About Wisdom Teeth

Wise Up! All About Wisdom Teeth

Why do we treat our farthest-back molars specially? They come in extra late, seem to cause extra problems, and even have a commonly-known name. What’s up with wisdom teeth?

Why “wisdom” teeth?

Wisdom teeth emerge typically between age 17 and 25, as a person is reaching adulthood. Linguists generally believe that they came to be called “teeth of wisdom” in the 17th century, which became “wisdom teeth” in the 19th century, because of their late eruption.

Why do they erupt so late?

Your first molars erupted around the age of 6, and your second molars around age 12. Your wisdom teeth didn’t even start forming until you were about 10, and took their time forming and then erupting. That is…if you have wisdom teeth. People can have between zero and four or even more wisdom teeth (though this is very rare).

Potential Problems

Possibly the most common time you hear the term “wisdom teeth” is when somebody needs them pulled or extracted – ouch! Often wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to grow properly and that makes them problematic in your mouth. You need to have your teeth grow in the right direction in your mouth, not at odd angles. Wisdom teeth don’t always need removal, and if they are healthy, fully grown in, biting properly with their opposite teeth, and able to be cleaned properly by you, sometimes you get to keep them. However, if they never emerge fully, or get impacted in the jaw, pain and infection may result.

If you’re having pain, repeated infection of the soft tissue, tumors, damage to nearby teeth, gum disease, or extensive tooth decay, you should talk to your doctor about the best treatment methods, which may include removal of the offending wisdom tooth.

We’re happy to respond to any questions or concerns you might have about your wisdom teeth. Give us a call at 403-248-0301 to book your appointment for a checkup or cleaning.

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Suite 600, 2710 17th Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta
T2A 0P6

Phone: 403-248-0301
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