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Wisdom teeth, unfortunately have nothing to do with wisdom. They are called “wisdom teeth” because they usually come in later in life, often during a person’s late teens or early twenties. Sometimes they are referred to as “third molars.” Wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed. If they are healthy, there is enough room for them in the mouth, and they can be reached with a toothbrush, removal may not be needed.

But there are instances when wisdom teeth do need to come out. If the wisdom teeth are coming in at odd angles, they may need to be removed. Another situation requiring extraction would be when the wisdom teeth remain hidden inside the gums and become impacted. That can lead to infection and damage to other teeth. Sometimes, wisdom teeth only emerge part-way through the gums, or they may crowd the other teeth. Even if the dentist decides not to remove the wisdom teeth, it’s important to keep them healthy by brushing and flossing, but the potential for problems could remain.

How do you know if there is a problem with your wisdom teeth? There are some recognizable symptoms that indicate that it may be time to have your wisdom teeth removed. Those symptoms include pain, repeated infections behind your lower back teeth, tooth decay and damage to nearby teeth. If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms, and you live in the Fairfax, Virginia area, you should contact Dr. Lida M. Vargas at Virginia Dental Group at 703-385-3800 as soon as possible. We can perform an exam, and take x-rays to determine what the best course of treatment is when it comes to wisdom teeth. Every patient is different, and we’re committed to finding the best treatment for you.