Wisdom teeth are essentially vestigial third molars left over from a time in human evolution when our ancient ancestors’ diet included a lot of roots and tough cuts of meat. Your son or daughter likely has four wisdom teeth. However, there have been rare cases where someone has had as many as six wisdom teeth while other people have had zero.
You should expect your son or daughter’s wisdom teeth to begin erupting from their gums at some point after all of their permanent teeth have emerged. It’s not unheard of for emerging wisdom teeth to become crowded in the back of the mouth or even impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause tooth pain, infection and potentially damage other teeth.
Early symptoms that wisdom teeth are trying to emerge often involves a deep ache in the gums or rear of the jaw. Even if one or more wisdom teeth manage to emerge from their gums without impaction or other complications, they will still need regular brushing and flossing. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth can often be hard to clean, making them prone to tooth decay while promoting gum disease.
While it might be tempting to let them stay in the back of their mouth it can lead to issues later on. If you choose not to have them extracted, later in life your son or daughter may experience a much longer recovery time if they do eventually have them removed.
If you are concerned about your son or daughter’s wisdom teeth, please call Northridge Dental Group’s office in Northridge, California at 818-886-6100 to set up an initial consultation.