The 411 on Wisdom Teeth

Most of us have all of our permanent teeth by the age of 13. Wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually develop between 17-25 years old. They get their name because they are the last teeth to come in during young adulthood, a time when we are traditionally gaining wisdom. So, what’s the 411 on wisdom teeth? What can you expect for your child?

Symptoms and Changes

As your child enters her pre-teen years, we will start to monitor her wisdom teeth. Usually, around seventeen is a common age for wisdom teeth removal. Through x-rays, your dentist can see how they are developing. Extracting the teeth when the roots are only half developed makes for an easier surgery. The risk of complications increases as patients age.While everyone experiences different changes and symptoms, here is a list of things to look out for:
The 411 on Wisdom Teeth

  • gum pain
  • infections in the gum tissue on top of the tooth
  • crowding of other teeth
  • damage to adjacent teeth
  • headaches
  • jaw pain or stiffness
  • tooth decay or gum disease because of overcrowding

If it is between check-ups and you suspect your child’s wisdom teeth have erupted, please contact Tooth Fairy Smiles. Schedule an appointment for an examination. We are here to help you make an informed decision about how best to proceed.

Interesting Facts About Wisdom Teeth

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, an estimated 90% of the population with wisdom teeth has or will have them removed. Many times the teeth are impacted or hard to reach, making them difficult to clean. Bacteria then grows and may lead to infection or a cyst or an abscess.

Impacted wisdom teeth have been a problem for humans for thousands of years. The oldest known case of impacted wisdom teeth dates to roughly 15,000 years ago! The skeleton of a woman referred to for years as the “Magdeleian Girl” was discovered in France in 1911. Archaeologists previously thought she was a child because the wisdom teeth had not erupted in her jaw. However, new analysis reveals that she was in fact not a little girl, but an adult woman and that her wisdom teeth were impacted.

Did you know 35% of the population never develop wisdom teeth? Some theories claim that this is a development of evolution because we do not need them anymore. Others believe it is a regional occurrence. For example, in East Asia, it is common to find people without wisdom teeth.