Wisdom teeth do not bring us the wisdom they promise, unfortunately. In fact, wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to appear and because they are in the back of the mouth, they often don’t have the room they need to grow in properly. This means for many, if not most people, they create big problems.
Wisdom teeth problems
The biggest problem for most people is impacted wisdom teeth. This means that they are unable to erupt into the mouth properly because they are crooked or sideways. This alone is a problem, but it also can contribute to and create the following problems:
- Healthy teeth can be damaged as the impacted teeth push against your second molars
- Impacted teeth often become decayed and/or infected because they can’t be easily reached with your toothbrush
- Bacteria around the impacted teeth can cause gum disease, and spread to your bloodstream, leading to problems with your heart and other organs
- Fluid-filled cysts or tumors can sometimes form around the bottom of the impacted tooth, and this can cause damage to the jawbone, nearby teeth and nerves.
- If they only partially come in or come in crooked, they can cause uncomfortable crowding, leading to the removal of other teeth and/or braces
Wisdom teeth removal
Before the age of 20, wisdom teeth have less developed roots and fewer complications. This is why we recommend that people have their teeth evaluated between the ages of 16-19 to see if they need to have their wisdom teeth removed. This is why your regular checkups and cleanings are important – they’re an opportunity for us to see if there’s cause for concern. Annual X-rays will allow us to see a problem with your wisdom teeth before you even feel any pain or discomfort.
Even after the age of 20, if your wisdom teeth need to be removed, we can work together to do it as quickly and painlessly as possible. If the teeth are impacted, we’ll make a small incision in the gum and remove the tooth in pieces to ensure we remove all of the tooth, and only the tooth, with as little pain or discomfort for you as possible. We offer IV sedation if necessary. After surgery, you’ll likely have some swelling and tenderness of the face and neck, as well as bruising. Ice packs can relieve the swelling, and we can discuss pain medication prior to your surgery.
Get your teeth checked
If you suspect a problem with your wisdom teeth, or would just feel better to know for sure, call us to schedule an appointment today.