About Teeth

Throughout your life, you will have two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth and secondary (permanent) teeth. At age 6-8 months, the primary teeth appear; all 20 are usually in place by age 3.

Permanent teeth will begin to erupt around age 6, and except for wisdom teeth, are all present between ages 12 and 14. The next teeth to grow in are the 12-year molars and finally the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth typically begin breaking through from age 17 and on. The total number of permanent teeth is 32, though few people have room for all 32 teeth. This is why wisdom teeth are usually removed.

Your front teeth are called incisors.  The sharp “fang-like” teeth are canines.  The next side teeth are referred to as pre-molars or bicuspids, and the back teeth are molars. Your permanent teeth are the ones you keep for life, so it is important that they are brushed and flossed regularly and that periodic check-ups by a dentist are followed.

Click here for information on wisdom teeth.


Wisdom Teeth

Your third molars are more commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all.  This common condition is called impaction.  When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise.  Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid.  This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected.  If either of these situations go untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

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