Usually found in four groups of three, molars are sometimes joined by up to four wisdom teeth, or extra molars. It is possible to have more than or less than four, but usually there is one wisdom tooth behind each row of molars. Wisdom teeth develop much later in life than other teeth, often becoming ‘impacted’ or coming in at an odd angle, which usually leads to them being removed. Around a third of adults will never develop wisdom teeth.
Typically, impacted wisdom teeth come in a variety of forms:
Because of the plentiful amount of bacteria in the mouth, it commonly leads to pericoronitis, an infection of the gums mostly found in young people. When a tooth partially erupts from the gum, it exposes a flap of gum that can trap bacteria and lead to infection. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash is especially important while wisdom teeth are coming in.
Usually, wisdom teeth are removed quickly and easily. For many people, wisdom teeth may be impacted and modify the bite or position of other teeth, and are generally considered to be unneeded. Others may not have wisdom tooth problems, or may not grow the teeth at all.
If you or someone you know is having issues with a wisdom tooth affecting dental work, teeth, or gums, call the office of Dr. Navi Virk, DDS. at (509) 838-0404.
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111 S Post St, Spokane, WA 99201-4912