The average adult has thirty-two teeth by age eighteen; sixteen teeth on the top and sixteen teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing. However, the average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be extremely painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth meant for only 28 teeth. These four additional teeth are your Third Molars, also known as wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly, and the gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when your wisdom teeth are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully.