Wisdom teeth don’t have much to do with wisdom. If they did, we probably wouldn’t extract so many. But in San Francisco and Cupertino, we do extract a lot of them – sometimes for prevention, and other times because they have become impacted.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, also known as the “third molars”, and usually erupt in the late teens or early twenties. When they become “impacted” or come in crooked, there can be a lot of pain and even disease. Even though they are not fully erupted, they can still get cavities, and sometime develop into pathologic cysts or tumors. They can contribute to gum disease (periodontitis) and even damage the adjacent teeth and bone. So there is good reason to pull them.
Although rare, some people don’t get any wisdom teeth at all! But most people have at least four or even more depending on their genetics. Thankfully, they do not always become impacted and if they can be kept clean there is no reason to extract them. However, just like any other teeth they are still vulnerable to tooth decay, especially since they are located all the way in the back of the mouth and are the hardest to reach with a toothbrush.
By the way, do you know why they are called “wisdom teeth”? There is a notion that since these teeth erupt during early adulthood, that is the time in of lives when most of us are beginning to gain wisdom about life.
So do you gave third molars that are symptomatic? Then use your wisdom and give us a call to schedule a consultation for us to evaluate your third molars. Give us a call at 415-813-6400 in San Francisco or 408-253-6084 in Cupertino.