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Wisdom Teeth Vs. Impacted Teeth

Posted on 11/15/2023 by Weo Admin
3D rendered xray of an impacted wisdom tooth (highlighted in red) butting against the tooth next to itWisdom teeth are also referred to as third molars. They are situated at the rear of the lower and upper jaws. Wisdom teeth are the final teeth to come out of the mouth. Typically, they begin to erupt during the late teens to mid-twenties, hence the name "wisdom teeth." This is because they coincide with the phase of life known as the "age of wisdom." Most people experience wisdom tooth eruption during late adolescence or early adulthood. But some individuals may have them emerge even later, sometimes as late as their 40s or 50s.

In the past, wisdom teeth had a crucial role. They helped our ancestors chew coarsely prepared meat and raw vegetables. However, as dietary habits evolved, becoming more refined and less coarse, the role of wisdom teeth has diminished. This shift in diet has resulted in a reduced need for these teeth, leading to a decline in the eruption of third-molar teeth.

The failure of a wisdom tooth to fully erupt in the oral cavity is primarily attributed to insufficient space. Impacted wisdom teeth generally do not cause issues for many individuals. However, some may experience problems such as an elevated risk of tooth decay, gum inflammation, and the potential spread of infection to neighboring teeth.

What Are Impacted Teeth?

Impacted teeth are teeth that fail to emerge fully through the gum line or remain partially or entirely trapped within the jawbone. Although any tooth can become impacted, the term is most commonly linked to impacted wisdom teeth. Impaction can result from inadequate space in the jaw, improper angulation of the tooth, or obstruction by neighboring teeth. Impacted teeth can lead to a range of issues. These include swelling, pain, gum infections, damage to adjacent teeth, and the formation of cysts or tumors around the impacted tooth.

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