In your mid-teens, wisdom teeth begin to show up on your dental X-rays. You may begin to feel this third set of molars as they push against your back gums.
Wisdom teeth sometimes cause pain, swelling, cavities, or gum disease. When they have to come out it’s usually because:
- They’re impacted. Because they sit so far back in your mouth, wisdom teeth can get trapped in your jawbone or gums. This can be painful.
- They come in at the wrong angle. They may press against your other teeth.
- Your mouth isn’t big enough. Your jaw has no room for an extra set of molars.
- You have cavities or gum disease. You may not be able to reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush or dental floss.
Between the ages of 17 and 25, many people have their wisdom teeth removed. Often, they go to a special dentist called an oral surgeon, who removes the teeth in his office.
Wisdom teeth removal is usually an easy, short process. Your mouth should heal in a few days. You should be able to go back to school or work the next day.