Ask Dr. Baruffi: What, exactly, are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a type of molar that is found in the very back of your mouth and are the last molars to develop. Seattle dentist Dr. Jerome Baruffi will tell you there are four wisdom teeth: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. The removal of wisdom teeth has become so commonplace that it is almost a rite of passage for young adults.

Dr. Baruffi will tell you that when a tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and yes, even gum disease.

In addition to visiting our website with any questions you may have about wisdom teeth, our friends at WebMD have developed a really helpful page about wisdom teeth and how they impact your health. Our team at Southcenter Dental also recommend that you give us a call at 206.575.1551 for more on wisdom teeth.

Happy Monday!

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