Kw-logo-smaller

Word to the Wise: Wisdom Teeth

Ouch! Why are those four molars at the very back of your mouth hurting you? Well, those molars (another word for your bigger back teeth) are actually called "wisdom teeth" - and they can be painful when they're growing in.


AND, if you're like most people, you'll probably have your wisdom teeth pulled out at some point - either one, two, three or all four. That can be even more painful than when they're coming in! So what exactly are wisdom teeth and, if they've got to come out, why do they even bother growing in at all???


Tooth for Thought

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that usually develop when you’re in your teens (between the ages of 17 and 21), at which time, you will suddenly become all-knowing and very, very wise. Just kidding. These teeth- which are the very last to grow in - serve no purpose, except to possibly cause serious pain and irritation.


Big Impact

In many people, wisdom teeth are unable to grow in normally. They either become stuck under the gum or are only able to partially break through the gum. Dentists call these teeth impacted. Wisdom teeth usually become impacted because the jaw doesn't have enough space for all the teeth that are growing in or because the tooth comes in at the wrong angle.


Impacted wisdom teeth are pretty common. Although some people never have any trouble with them, impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems. It’s really hard to brush these teeth because they’re so far back in the mouth. And, because they are so hard to clean, tartar and plaque build-up, combined with food getting stuck underneath the gum, can cause cavities, infection and inflammation in your mouth. It can even cause - ugh - bad breath.


Jaws Joking

Another problem with wisdom teeth is that your mouth may not have enough room for them. Every jaw is different, so when your wisdom teeth appear (and most people get ’em - very few don't), your dentist can determine if your jaw is wide enough to accommodate the extra teeth. But you’ll definitely want them removed if you experience infection, pain or impaction, in which they are blocked completely or partially from breaking through the gum.


Brace For It

And if you’ve had braces, wisdom teeth can make straight teeth crooked. Best to get ’em out. Most dentists and oral surgeons will recommend removing your wisdom teeth - especially if they're impacted, because they may damage other teeth, or cause pain or infection.


Related Stories
52 Comments

latest videos

Poll

How Often Do You Floss?

  • After every meal.
  • Before I go to bed every night.
  • A couple of times a week.
  • I don't remember the last time I flossed.

related stories

Micro_white_micro
short brunette asks: "I tried whitening toothpaste but they're still yellow and I don't smile muc...
We’ve all heard them – or even used them – before. Sayings like: “I’ve got butterflies in my stom...
Every year in the United States, kids lose around five million teeth while playing sports. Don't ...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

Maleficnet192
Maleficnet192 posted in Style:
whenever their parents feel like they are mature enough to wear it
reply about 1 hour
Its_skylar1
Its_skylar1 posted in Style:
When they start getting acne and hit pub
reply about 1 hour
The_Toxic_YOYO
The_Toxic_YOYO posted in Friends:
Hate to break it to you :( but those are not real friends... Real friends support you and will be by your side for a very long time . If I was in your shoes I would ask my friend why they are talking behind my back etc.... and if they cant come up with a logical answer then maybe they are not true friends.  
reply about 2 hours
The_Toxic_YOYO
The_Toxic_YOYO posted in Friends:
Lets be honest that is kind of a sucky situation... But if I was in your shoes I would start out by calling the parents and telling them what is going on.... Then if you can't get ahold of them then I would call the police even if they were just mentioning of doing it. I know at times some people can get mad about someone doing that but they can also get help they need... :( I really hope things get better for your friend...
reply about 2 hours
Narwhals3
Narwhals3 posted in Style:
I have my Medusa and right nostril pierced plus gauges and a second ear lobe piercing on each ear
reply about 4 hours

play online games