• Brian Y. Kuo DDS

What are wisdom teeth?


Wisdom teeth is a type of molar teeth located in the back of the mouth.  Most people have 1st, 2nd and 3rd molars. Third molars are referred to as wisdom teeth. They usually erupt during late teens or early twenties (approximately age 17 to 25 years). Historically, third molars are nicknamed “wisdom teeth” because they come through at a more mature age. Throughout evolutionary history, human jaws have become smaller. Therefore, there is less room for the wisdom teeth to grow. They often become impacted or blocked by other teeth.


What are impacted wisdom teeth?


They are trapped underneath a person’s gums and are unable to fully erupt or develop normally. Wisdom teeth are more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease than other teeth because they are hard to clean. Some dentists also recommend removing impacted wisdom teeth that don’t cause any symptoms to prevent any future problems. When impacted wisdom teeth becomes infected, it can damage neighboring teeth or cause other dental problems. You may experience some of these symptoms:

  • Red or swollen gums near the wisdom tooth

  • Pus coming from the gum

  • Tender or bleeding gum

  • Jaw pain

  • Swelling around the jaw

  • Bad breath

  • Fever

  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth

  • Difficulty opening your mouth

When to see a dentist?


See your dentist if you experience symptoms in the area behind your last molar that may be associated with an impacted wisdom tooth.

If you’re curious about the status of your wisdom teeth, contact us today at 626-461-5659 and we will go over your options with you!


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