The third set of molars that grows-in with our adult teeth is called our wisdom teeth. You might not notice them or see them, but they are back there. And these toothy latecomers can downright crash a perfect dental party. Murfreesboro Family Dentistry is here to drop some knowledge and clue you in on some wisdom teeth woes.
Why Are People Always Talking About Getting Their Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?
Sure, having a few extra teeth in the back of our mouth would help our chomping power a bit, but our wisdom teeth don’t always do what they’re supposed to do.
Before erupting (that’s the technical term for when a tooth breaks the surface of the gum while coming in), wisdom teeth can get turned around or distracted, causing them to come in crooked, sideways, or not at all.
Any one of these can cause complications such as pain, swelling, crowding, or infection.
Crooked Wisdom Teeth
Crooked or sideways wisdom teeth that are still on the move can push into the neighboring molars. This can cause a domino effect of crooked and crowded teeth. There is also a higher risk of infection If the teeth are touching under the gum.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If wisdom teeth never erupt, they are considered impacted. This may or may not be a problem.
Some wisdom teeth stay under the surface of the gum and cause no issues.
Although, they can be very painful and lead to infection. When wisdom teeth are just under the gum, this is called being tissue impacted. This may lead to collection of bacteria between the gum and the tooth.
Going without the proper care of an impacted wisdom tooth can lead to damage of the neighboring teeth or even deterioration of the bone in the jaw.
How Do I Know If My Wisdom Teeth Are Okay?
Hopefully you’re having routine dental cleanings and exams every six months where X-rays are standard. A proper X-ray will show the state of your wisdom teeth, their orientation, And the health of the neighboring teeth below the gum line.
Your dentist will be able to tell you whether your wisdom teeth are okay where they are or if extraction is recommended.
You should also be able to tell if you’re gums are swollen or tender around your molars, if there is pain around your jawline, or if there is an unusual bad taste. If you are experiencing any of these, you may need to have your wisdom teeth examined.
Even if your wisdom teeth are healthy, it may be recommended that they are extracted if they are still impacted. They might not be causing any problems now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to cause problems in the future.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your dental hygienist or dentist during your routine exams about the health of your wisdom teeth. Most people have no idea what’s going on back there and we understand that.
Call Murfreesboro Family Dentistry today to schedule your consultation.