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What is a Wisdom Tooth?
Posted on 1/4/2017 by Jen Braswell
We all know that for most people, wisdom teeth need to be removed in order to prevent serious dental problems! But have you ever wondered, what exactly is a wisdom tooth? Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that typically grow in during a person’s late teens/early twenties. Why are they called “wisdom” teeth? Formally known as “third molars”, wisdom teeth developed their name due to the late nature of their arrival, at an age where people are “wiser” than when their other teeth grow in (during childhood). What is their purpose? Today, wisdom teeth are no longer needed in order for us to process food. Back in the day, however, when the human diet consisted of tough meats and fibrous vegetables, an extra molar was needed to break down food. Scientists have not discovered a common day use for wisdom teeth, as they are not needed for chewing modern food. Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed? Over the years, human jaws have become much smaller, making the space too crowded for wisdom teeth. Therefore, when wisdom teeth start growing in, they push on the teeth that have already established themselves. Once they start pushing on other teeth, the alignment of a person’s mouth is affected. Wisdom teeth can easily become “impacted”. This means that they are trapped underneath a person’s gums and are unable to fully erupt, which can be painful. Since wisdom teeth aren’t needed and can affect your smile and health negatively, we recommend that most people have them removed. For the few pepole that don’t get their wisdom teeth removed, serious dental health problems can occur down the road. If you’re curious about the status of your wisdom teeth – contact us today at Livermore Office Phone Number 925-294-4000 and we will go over your options with you!


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The surgical specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery requires up to six additional years of hospital based surgical and anesthesia training beyond dental school.
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Livermore
1133 E. Stanley Blvd. #215 • Livermore, CA 94550
Phone: 925-290-7727 Fax: 925-294-8800
Tracy
2160 W. Grant Line Road #160 • Tracy, CA 95377
Phone: Phone: 209-835-4600 • Fax: Fax: 209-835-8833

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