While teeth help us all in many ways and are often underappreciated, the one form of teeth which causes nothing but issues are wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth refer to the third set of molars which start appearing in our mouth, especially during the ages of 18 to 20. Unlike their name, they do not provide us wisdom, but instead, present a wide variety of problems. We will take a look at some common wisdom tooth woes and their solutions which can help you understand and get rid of your wisdom tooth ailments. Your dentist can help you figure out your wisdom teeth problems, too.
The most common problem associated with wisdom teeth is the fact that there is no room for them in the mouth for them to grow well. This in turn, causes crowding, or the wisdom tooth to clump in together with the already existing molars and cause impacting, which causes the pre-existing molars a host of problems. Impacted is the term which is used for wisdom teeth which either grow sideways or are tilted or improperly erupted from the gums. It affects the alignment of the teeth and causes pain, discomfort and even deformation. It can also lead to infections and tooth decay as well as tooth and gum disease, as the existing molar would struggle and compete with the wisdom tooth for more space, leaving exposed gums which is an ideal breeding ground for germs and other pathogens. It can also lead to cysts and tumors, which can be very painful on their own and can compound the pain being caused by the wisdom tooth. Dentists usually recommend the removal of such wisdom teeth.
Your dentist would usually recommend a good time period to remove your wisdom teeth so that you do not have to go through these complications. Generally, it is easier to remove wisdom teeth when one is younger in age as at that period the wisdom teeth are not fully developed and can cause less pain or discomfort. It is said that the best age for evaluation and removal of wisdom teeth is around 16 to 19 years. Dentists determine the growth of wisdom teeth using X-rays and then decide the course of action, which is either immediate removal or a set time period for the preparation and removal of the tooth.
The removal process involves the application of anesthesia and sedatives to ensure the least discomfort after which the dentist makes incisions to cause the least damage to the bone and other tissues while ensuring the complete removal of the tooth. Post removal process, you may experience pain and swelling and even tenderness or bruising, which can be improved by using ice packs as well as painkillers. The dentist may also recommend the consumption of only a fixed set of food items which causes the least irritation to the cut tissue and does not hamper the healing process.
When you're a young adult, the last four permanent teeth to appear in your mouth are the third molars, also known as wisdom teeth. But rather than giving us the wisdom we would like, they often become problematic – even for those of us who have the best oral health. When wisdom teeth problems arise, dentists often recommend removing them, and there are a few reasons this may be the smartest thing to do.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth could be as useful as any of your other teeth, but because they are in the very back of the mouth, they often don't have enough room to grow in. It's not unusual for wisdom teeth to be positioned crooked or sideways in the jaw, keeping them from erupting into the mouth properly. This is referred to as an "impacted" tooth, and according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), nine out of 10 patients have at least one.
Why Remove Them?
There are four unhealthy circumstances that might prompt your dentist to recommend removing your impacted wisdom teeth:
- Healthy teeth can be damaged as impacted wisdom teeth push against your neighbouring second molars.
- Impacted wisdom teeth often become decayed or infected because they're hard to reach with your toothbrush.
- Bacteria around the impacted tooth can lead to gum disease and enter your bloodstream, adversely affecting your heart and other organs of your body.
- Fluid-filled cysts or tumors occasionally form around the bottom of an impacted wisdom tooth, causing damage to the jawbone, nerves in the area, and nearby teeth.
The Best Time to Remove Them
Whenever your dentist detects problems or feels that your wisdom teeth have the potential to create complications in your mouth, he will most likely suggest that you have one or all of your wisdom teeth removed – even if they aren't causing you problems at the moment. Wisdom teeth are also easier to remove when you're younger than when you are older, according to the AAOMS, because the roots are not completely developed and the bone around the teeth isn't as dense. This means there is a slimmer chance of damaging surrounding nerves, teeth, or bone during removal.
You may be lucky enough to have a "big mouth," which allows your wisdom teeth to fully erupt without interfering with your other teeth. But before you're in the clear to keep them, your dentist will want to make sure that they are functional and not affecting your bite. They should also be cavity-free, surrounded by healthy gum tissue and not causing you any pain.
Our highly-skilled dentist in Ventura County at Hillview Dental Care is proud to have the opportunity to serve all of your dental needs. Whether the treatment is general oral healthcare, emergency treatment, or anywhere in between, it is our main concern to ensure your complete satisfaction with each visit. Welcome to our dental family.