At about six months old, the primary or baby teeth begin to form and cut through the gums. However, the appearance of the baby teeth may not be the same for all babies. The variance in age and number of teeth is normal among babies.
Baby X may get his first teeth at an earlier age, while Baby Y may get them later. Baby X may get six teeth by the age of one, while Baby Y may get four teeth by the age of one.
Spaces between the baby teeth are also normal. These spaces are necessary for the permanent teeth to have enough room as a lack of space between the baby teeth can sometimes indicate a crowded set of teeth.
The primary teeth help in a child’s bite and chew, as well as, in the normal development of the oromascular function and speech. They also serve as a guide for the adult teeth.
Usually, the first teeth to appear are the front top and bottom teeth, coming two at a time. By the age of three, a total of 20 primary teeth have cut through the gums.
After the Baby Teeth
At six to 12 years old, the baby teeth begin to be replaced by permanent teeth that by the time a child reaches 12 years old, he or she has a set of 28 adult teeth.
However, the teething process does not end with 28 adult teeth because between 17 to 25 (or older) years old, another set of teeth will appear.
What is a Wisdom Tooth?
Called wisdom teeth, these teeth are the third and final set of molars to erupt. Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, and unlike the baby and adult teeth, their buds do not form in the womb.
According to studies, the formation of the wisdom teeth is due to evolutionary factor as hard nuts, berries, raw meat, and other coarse foods make up our ancestors’ diet.
How does a Wisdom Tooth come out?
A wisdom tooth can erupt in one of these five ways: vertical, mesioangular, distoangular, horizontal, or failure to entirely erupt.
When a wisdom tooth breaks through vertically, it develops like the other teeth in the mouth and is considered generally correct. A mesioangular development is crooked toward the front of the mouth, while a distoangular development is crooked toward the back of the mouth.
Meanwhile, a horizontal growth of a wisdom tooth means breaking through at 90-degree angle and laying on its side. A wisdom tooth can also not erupt completely through the gums.
Does everyone develop a wisdom tooth?
However, some people do not develop a wisdom tooth. According to research, only 35 percent of the world population does not have a wisdom tooth due to the evolution of their jaw structure which is considered more evolved.
Other theories on the lack of wisdom tooth point to ethnicity, particularly of indigenous Mexicans who never had a wisdom tooth.
Is it necessary to extract a wisdom tooth?
Healthy and properly aligned wisdom teeth are valuable assets, but 85 percent of these teeth do not develop properly and can cause complications such as misalignment and significant pain.
Because present-day human beings have smaller jaws compared to our ancestors and can often only hold 28 teeth, space can become inadequate, and the wisdom tooth can be stranded against another tooth, resulting to an impacted tooth.
What is an impacted tooth?
An impacted tooth is a tooth which only broke partially through the gum or enclosed within the jawbone and the soft tissue.
When the tooth is impacted, it can lead to swelling or soreness. It is also more susceptible to infection and leads to gum disease, tooth decay, jaw problems, and other illnesses.
How can I know if my wisdom tooth is impacted?
A dental X-ray will help in identifying the position of the wisdom teeth and in the evaluation of the need for extraction.
An early extraction is easier to do and less complicated since the roots are less developed and the bone is less dense. By extracting the tooth as soon as possible, complications can be prevented
How are wisdom teeth extracted?
When a wisdom tooth has fully erupted, it can be extracted like any other tooth. But when a wisdom tooth is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone, a cut into the gums and removal of a part of the bone are needed.