Why Are They Called Wisdom Teeth?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Wisdom teeth in Calgary Alberta

Why is ‘wisdom’ associated with this tooth removal process? It is generally thought among linguists that they are called wisdom teeth because they appear at an age when a person matures and is “wiser”. Tooth development, from a baby’s primary teeth to permanent teeth, takes place in an organized fashion, over a course of years, with the first molar erupting around the age of six and the second molar erupting around the age of 12. Wisdom teeth, which begin forming around your tenth birthday, are the last set of molars on the tooth-development timeline, so they usually don’t appear until you are between the ages of 17 and 25 - when a person reaches adulthood.

When wisdom teeth form they often become impacted, or blocked, by the other teeth around them. If the tooth partially erupts, food can get trapped in the gum tissue surrounding it, which can lead to bacteria growth and, possibly a serious infection. Wisdom teeth that do not erupt but remain tucked away can also lead to oral problems, such as crowding or displacement of permanent teeth and on very rare occasions, a cyst (fluid filled sac) can form in the soft tissue surrounding the impacted wisdom tooth. These cysts can lead to bone destruction, jaw expansion, or damage to the surrounding teeth.

There is no “right age” to have your wisdom teeth removed, and most patients don’t make it an issue until there are problems. However, the younger you are, the faster the healing process typically is, and you may experience fewer complications than that of an older patient.

If you’re concerned about impacted wisdom teeth, or if it’s been determined that their eruption will cause dental issues, or for information on any of Abougoush Family Dental Care’s comprehensive range of general preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry - contact us at 403-289-7370 today. As your Calgary family dentist of choice, we’re committed to providing you with the most appropriate procedure, personalized to your needs, and carried out professionally for your entire family from children and teens to adults at all stages of life.

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