wisdom tooth


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tooth

 [to̳th] (pl. teeth)
one of the small bonelike structures of the jaws for biting and mastication of food; they also help in the shaping of sounds and forming of words in speech.

Structure. The portion of a tooth that rises above the gum is the crown; the portion below is the root. The crown is covered by enamel, which is related to the epithelial tissue of the skin and is the hardest substance in the human body. The surface of the root is composed of a bonelike tissue called cementum. Underneath the surface enamel and cementum is a substance called dentin, which makes up the main body of the tooth. Within the dentin, in a space in the center of the tooth, is the dental pulp, a soft, sensitive tissue that contains nerves and blood and lymph vessels. The cementum, dentin, and pulp are formed from connective tissue.
Typical deciduous teeth.
Typical permanent teeth.
(See color plates.)

Covering the root of the tooth and holding it in place in its alveolus (socket) in the jaw is a fibrous connective tissue called the periodontium. Its many strong fibers are embedded in the cementum and also the wall of the tooth socket. The periodontium not only helps hold the tooth in place but also acts to cushion it against the pressure caused by biting and chewing.

There are 20 primary teeth, called also deciduous teeth, baby teeth, or milk teeth, which are eventually replaced by 32 permanent teeth, evenly divided between the upper and lower jaws.

Teeth have different shapes because they have different functions. The incisors, in the front of the mouth, are shaped like a cone with a sharp flattened end, and cut the food. There are eight deciduous and permanent incisors, four upper and four lower. The canines (or cuspids) are at the corners of the mouth and are shaped like simple cones; they tear and shred food. There are four permanent canines; the two in the upper jaw are popularly known as the “eye teeth.” The premolars (or bicuspids) are next behind the cuspids and consist of two cones, or cusps, fused together; they tear, crush, and grind the food. There are eight permanent premolars. The molars are in the back of the mouth; they have between three and five cusps each, and their function is to crush and grind food. There are 12 permanent molars in all, three on each side of both the upper and lower jaw. The hindmost molar in each of these groups, and the last one to emerge, is popularly known as the wisdom tooth.
Development and Eruption. Both the primary teeth and the permanent teeth begin to develop before birth. Because of this, it is vitally important that expectant mothers receive foods that will supply the calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins necessary for healthy teeth. The primary teeth begin to form about the sixth week of prenatal life, with calcification beginning about the sixteenth week. A considerable part of the crowns of these teeth is formed by the time the child is born. Eruption, or cutting of teeth, is slower in some children than others, but the primary teeth generally begin to appear when the infant is between 6 and 9 months of age, and the process is completed by the age of 2 to 2½ years.



When the child is about 6, the first permanent molar comes in just behind the second molar of the primary teeth. About the same time, shedding of primary teeth begins. The permanent teeth form in the jaw even before the primary ones have erupted, with the incisors and the canines beginning to calcify during the first 6 months of life. Calcification of the others takes place shortly after. As the adult teeth calcify, the roots of the primary ones gradually disappear, or resorb, and are completely gone by the time the permanent teeth are ready to appear. Occasionally a primary tooth root does not resorb, and as a result the permanent tooth comes in outside its proper position. When this happens, it is necessary to remove the primary tooth and root.

The first teeth to be shed, about the sixth year, are the central incisors. The permanent incisors erupt shortly afterward. The lateral incisors are lost and replaced during the seventh to ninth years, and the canines in the ninth to twelfth years. The first premolars generally appear between the ages of 10 and 12, the second molars between 11 and 13, and the third molars, or wisdom teeth, between 17 and 22. It is not uncommon for the third molars to fail to erupt.

Occasionally there is a partial or total lack of either the primary or the permanent teeth (anodontia). In some cases this is inherited, and in others it may be related to endocrine gland disturbances.
Tooth Decay and Its Prevention. Tooth decay, or dental caries, is the most common disease in the United States. It begins on the outside of the teeth in the enamel as bacteria and refined carbohydrates adhere to the tooth surface to form plaque. The action of the bacteria on starchy and sugary foods produces lactic acid, which is believed to dissolve the enamel. Once there is a break in the enamel (demineralization), the decaying process moves on into the dentin and then to the pulp, attacking the nerves and causing toothache. For methods of treatment and prevention, see dental caries.
accessional teeth the permanent molars, so called because they have no primary tooth predecessors in the dental arch. See also succedaneous teeth.
anterior teeth the teeth in the anterior parts of the dental arches; the incisors and canines.
avulsed tooth a tooth that has been traumatically dislocated, usually salvageable for a reimplantation if appropriate treatment is initiated promptly. Prior to treatment the tooth can be placed in the conscious patient's mouth or in ice water or cold milk. No attempt should be made to cleanse the tooth.
Hutchinson's teeth abnormal teeth seen in congenital syphilis, in which the permanent incisors have a screwdriver-like shape, sometimes associated with notching of the incisal edges.
impacted tooth one so placed in the jaw that it is unable to erupt or to attain its normal position in occlusion. See also dental impaction.
intruded tooth a tooth that has been forcefully pushed into the patient's gums and may appear to be absent; it will usually return to the normal position within one month.
posterior teeth the teeth in the posterior parts of the dental arches; the premolars and molars.
succedaneous teeth (successional teeth) the permanent teeth that have primary tooth predecessors in the dental arch. See also accessional teeth.
wisdom tooth the third molar, the tooth most distal to the medial line on either side in each jaw; so called because it is the last of the permanent dentition to erupt, usually at the age of 17 to 21 years.

third molar tooth

[TA]
eighth permanent tooth in the maxilla and mandible on each side, making it the most posterior tooth in human dentition; usually erupts between the 17th and 23rd years; the roots are often fused, the separation being marked only by grooves; because it tends to erupt in an anterosuperior direction, the lower third molar often becomes impacted against the lower second molar; it is common for one third molar (or more) to fail to develop.

wisdom tooth

n.
One of four rearmost molars on each side of the upper and lower jaw in humans. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt, typically in early adulthood.

wisdom tooth

Etymology: AS, wisdom + toth
a third molar; either of the last teeth on each side of the upper and lower jaw. The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt, usually between 17 and 25 years of age, often causing considerable pain, dental problems, and the need for extraction. Formerly called dens serotinus. See also molar.

third mo·lar tooth

(thĭrd mō'lăr tūth) [TA]
Eighth permanent tooth in maxilla and mandible on each side, making it most posterior tooth in human dentition; usually erupts between the 17th and 23rd years; roots are often fused, separation being marked only by grooves; because it tends to erupt in an anterosuperior direction, lower third molar often becomes impacted against lower second molar; common for one third molar (or more) to fail to develop.
Synonym(s): dens serotinus [TA] , wisdom tooth.

wisdom tooth

A popular term for the rearmost tooth in each of the four quadrants of the jaws. The 3rd molar. Usually, the 3rd molars do not erupt until the ages of 17 to 21, but often one or more is unable to emerge fully from the gum because of overcrowding. This is called an impacted wisdom tooth.

wisdom tooth

a 3rd molar in humans which appears at about the age of 20, and often has to be removed as it crowds or distorts other teeth.

Wisdom tooth

One of the four last teeth on the top and bottom rows of teeth. Also called a third molar.
Mentioned in: Impacted Tooth

third mo·lar tooth

(thĭrd mō'lăr tūth) [TA]
Eighth permanent tooth in maxilla and mandible on each side, making it most posterior tooth in human dentition; usually erupts between the 17th and 23rd years; roots are often fused, separation being marked only by grooves; because it tends to erupt in an anterosuperior direction, lower third molar often becomes impacted against lower second molar; common for one third molar (or more) to fail to develop.
Synonym(s): dens molaris tertius [TA] , dens sapientiae, dens serotinus, wisdom tooth.

Patient discussion about wisdom tooth

Q. What are wisdom teeth? Why so many people talk about them and suffer from them?

A. Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes these teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they are misaligned and require removal. Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned – they can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars or be angled inward or outward. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. Wisdom teeth that lean toward the second molars make those teeth more vulnerable to decay by entrapping plaque and debris. In addition, wisdom teeth can be entrapped completely within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum. For complete article: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/wisdom-teeth This one is good also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_teeth Hope this helps.

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References in periodicals archive ?
A statement later clarified McIlroy's position, attributing his exit after 26 holes to wisdom tooth pain, but the Northern Irishman, ahead of the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Florida, admits neither reason justified his departure.
Everton's head of PR Ian Ross said: "We were told the player had struck an agreement with the Belgian national manager which meant he would be omitted from Wednesday's game as he required minor surgery to remove a wisdom tooth.
A Guinness Book spokes-man said: "Mrs Butler is the oldest person we've heard of to grow a wisdom tooth.
New York, Jan 23 (ANI): Actor Charlie Sheen's wife Brooke Mueller is said to be facing more dental problems after her impacted wisdom tooth escalated to a serious infection.
Everton's head of PR Ian Ross said: "We were told the player had struck an agreement with the Belgian national manager which meant he would be omitted fromWednesday's game as he required minor surgery to remove a wisdom tooth.
When I was getting my last wisdom tooth through in my late 20s, I felt rotten for about a week.
Konterman, who had his wisdom tooth extracted prior to the qualifier, admitted his personal pain was nothing compared to the agony of watching Rangers crash out of Europe's premier club competition.
For the study, 48 men and women in their 20s who were having at least one wisdom tooth removed - all by the same oral surgeon - took one of two kappa-opioids, which are marketed as Nubain and Stadol.
Mr Ryan, of independent health consultancy Mapi Values, also questioned the effectiveness of guidelines on wisdom tooth extraction.
Chester have doubts surrounding the fitness of defender Scott Guyett, who is suffering the effects of a wisdom tooth extraction, whilst a flu bug has hit the club.
The average ESPN viewer might find all this as informational as an infomercial, as impactful as a wisdom tooth.
The Holywood man insisted the walkout was caused by wisdom tooth pain which he has been suffering from for some time.