Just when you think you're in the clear for dental milestones, your wisdom teeth pop in to join the party.
They say with age comes wisdom, but a new set of teeth too?
These teeth are a third set of molars that usually come in between ages 17 and 21. When situated correctly, they can help you chew. Scholars believe that wisdom teeth are the evolutionary answer to eating more raw meats, roots, and vegetables.
Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?
Did you know some people do not have these molars at all? Studies show that evolution has a lot to do with a lack of wisdom teeth. This could be due to dietary shifts, growing brains, or just no longer needing them. When they are missing, it could also be the result of a genetic mutation.
In modern times they are not always functional. If significant pain is experienced during the growth of these molars, they probably need to be removed to avoid more serious complications.
When do you know if wisdom teeth removal is the right answer?
Sensitivity & Pain in the Back of your Mouth
When the wisdom teeth begin to come in, it is normal to experience a decent amount of discomfort. The best thing to do when you begin to experience the general discomfort associated with this growth is to go see your dentist.
They will perform x-rays and an exam to determine next steps. Sometimes extraction is not always the answer, and general pain can be treated with over the counter medication or something prescribed by your dentist.
When wisdom teeth start to sprout, the gums will start to spread out. As a result, flaps of skin can form around them. Little pieces of food and bacteria can get caught underneath these flaps. If the gums around these molars are not cleaned thoroughly, complications can arise.
When the gums around the teeth become painful and inflamed, it is a condition called pericorinitis.
Bad Breath or a Bad Taste in Your Mouth
As your wisdom teeth come in, they can push against your other teeth and make them move. If you have ever had braces, you know that when your teeth move it can cause major discomfort.
When your teeth move as a result of growth, misalignment can make it difficult to open and close your mouth. You may experience pain while chewing or biting because of this.
Stiffness and Pain in Jaw
As your wisdom teeth come in, they can push against your other teeth and cause them to move. If you have ever had braces, you know that when your teeth move it can cause major discomfort.
When your wisdom teeth come in and your teeth move as a result, misalignment can make it difficult to open and close your mouth. As a result, you may experience pain while chewing or biting.
Issues with sinuses
If you experience sinus pain, congestion and pressure in the upper jaw, the problem could be your wisdom teeth. The growth of teeth and its roots can push against the sinuses above and behind. The pressure can result in headaches and sinus pain.
Cysts and Cavities Developing in Your Mouth
If these special molars are ignored and not cleaned properly, they can cause cysts and other harmless jaw tumors. A cyst is a sac of fluid that gets accumulated and infects the area nearby. As a result, it will damage the roots of the teeth next to it. Though bone destruction is rare, it can happen as a result of cysts.
When these teeth come in and the existing teeth move closer together, it can be harder to keep them clean. Since they are more difficult to clean, it is more likely that bacteria and plaque will hide in the tighter spaces, putting you more at risk for cavities than before.
Hopefully you have a smooth transition into adulthood with your wisdom teeth. However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, Bass Dentistry can help. Schedule an appointment for professional advice and a referral to an oral surgeon if necessary.
If dental health is important to you and your family, take steps to know how to keep your gums healthy. Gum health is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and overall good dental hygiene. Brush and floss multiple times per day, avoid tobacco products, and use a therapeutic mouthwash.
If you want to know more about maintaining a healthy smile, book an appointment today with Bass Dentistry.