These teeth are third molars at the back of your mouth, in both the upper
and lower jaws. They came to be called wisdom teeth because they often
appear later than all the other teeth, usually between ages 17 and 25.
People are supposed to be wiser the older they get, so they came to be
called "wisdom teeth." Most adults have four wisdom teeth. Some have more,
called "supernumerary" teeth. About 35% of the population doesn't have any.
The problem is that most people don't have room in their mouths for these "extra" teeth. They can fail to erupt through the gums, which is called impaction. There are four kinds of impaction:
Wisdom teeth may also partially erupt, so that the tooth rises above the gumline but is covered by a flap of gum tissue. It's fairly rare that they come in straight and don't cause any trouble. These troubles often include:
Extraction is sometimes necessary for a deceased or damaged regular
J. Andrew Craycroft, DMD
1711 Ashley Circle, Suite 3
Bowling Green, KY 42104
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