What are wisdom teeth and how can I tell if I have them?

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iStock_000039288920SmallWisdom teeth are the last molars to develop. They are located on each side of the jaw in the very back of your mouth. By the time you are between 16-19 years old, you should be able to see them. You may not even realize that you have wisdom teeth if they are impacted meaning they haven’t broken through the gums. Sometimes they can be completely absent.

During a regular check-up, your dentist will take an x-ray to find out where your wisdom teeth are located and if they are impacted. Make an appointment earlier if you have:

  • Trouble opening your jaw
  • Pain when you bite or chew
  • Swollen gums at the back of your mouth or near the side of your jaw
  • Irritation or pain when you open your mouth