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Impacted Wisdom Teeth



Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.95

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    anesthetic, impactions, well-positioned, controversial, controversy, abrasive, cyst, complication, extraction, recovery, swelling, well-trained, permanent, wiser, sinus, discomfort


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Impacted Wisdom Teeth
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Those baby teeth fell out. Those permanent teeth came in. You thought you were all done, right? You already have twenty-eight permanent teeth. Guess what...there's more to come. That's right. Somewhere between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five, your third molars, or wisdom teeth, usually begin to erupt. These are officially the last teeth to grow in the mouth. That makes a full adult set of thirty-two.
 
2     Why the name "wisdom teeth?" No one is completely sure. Perhaps it's because the teeth come in later in life and people are older and wiser by then...maybe.
 
3     How many wisdom teeth can one expect? Four of them are way in the back of the mouth...one in each corner to be exact. When wisdom teeth are healthy and well-positioned, they don't seem to be any big deal. In fact, they don't seem to be used for anything. Perhaps millions of years ago, humans used them to chew food. Back then, humans were eating much more abrasive foods. When necessary, it appears these teeth moved forward and there was enough space for wisdom teeth to fit comfortably. In modern times, that's not always the case. Why? In general, diet has changed. Different foods and better dental care help people care for and hold onto their teeth, and that leaves less room in the mouth. Research seems to show that perhaps ninety percent of people don't have enough room for them, leaving those people with impacted, or slightly impacted, teeth.

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