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Wisdom Teeth   Wisdom Teeth
What happens when 32 teeth try to fit
into a size 28 mouth?
 
 
   
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Did You Know?
By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth: 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. However, the average mouth is only capable of holding 28 teeth and the presence of four more teeth, the third molars also known as “wisdom teeth,” not only crowds the other teeth, but can be quite painful as they try to squeeze into such a tight space. Ideally, removal of these teeth should take place between the age of 15 and 17 years of age. Most of the time impacted teeth must be removed, otherwise, they will cause the gums to become sore or even infected. Some people try to ignore the wisdom teeth if they have not erupted and have not caused soreness.

Benefits
Sometimes wisdom teeth are impacted or trapped in the jawbone and do not erupt or emerge through the gums as do other teeth. The impacted teeth may become oddly positioned in the jaw bones thus causing stress on other parts of the face including the sinus area. Serious problems occur when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. The removal of the impacted teeth at the appropriate age usually resolves these problems.

Research
The American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons sponsored a research study of a very large number of people to see if wisdom teeth left in place eventually caused problems. The findings showed that few people got through life without problems and the need to remove the teeth. They recommended the teeth be removed before the root development (growth) was complete. Some of the problems caused by leaving the teeth in place were quite serious. The surgical procedure to remove them was shown to be easiest between 15 and 17 years old, and the risks of problems occurring during surgery to remove the teeth increased with age from then on.

Links and Resources
Aaoms: www.aaoms.org/wisdom_teeth.php

 
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