The third molars, more common known as wisdom teeth, are the last set of 4 molars to erupt in your mouth. Usually wisdom teeth erupt in your late teens or early twenties but it is not unheard of people getting their wisdom teeth even when they are in their forties or sixties.
Invariably most people suffer from impacted wisdom teeth. The teeth are unable to erupt through the jaw bone and gum tissue as the space is too limited. The limited space is due to smaller jaws compared to ancient man. And since the space is limited, it is possible that the wisdom teeth start growing sideways pushing the adjacent molars. However, even then they cannot erupt and this causes a lot of pain. Sometimes, the tooth comes out partially but the gum does not retract and food debris can get stuck under the flap of the gum causing infection. As the wisdom teeth continue to grow, the roots hold them in place and the roots can get misshapen.
Although highly debated, there are some dentists who believe that impacted wisdom teeth affect our teeth. As the jaw is too small and when wisdom teeth begin to erupt, there is overcrowding of teeth, and the wisdom teeth exert pressure on the other teeth. This pressure can cause a shift of the teeth. Teeth shift caused by wisdom teeth is particularly seen in the lower set of teeth where the front lower teeth can end up getting crooked. In addition, teeth shift caused by wisdom teeth can also cause bite changes.
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