Wisdom Teeth

wisdom-teeth-xrayAre your wisdom teeth causing you pain or discomfort?

Wisdom teeth can present some of the most difficult challenges our teeth ever cause. The solution in most cases is to have wisdom teeth extracted. What goes wrong with wisdom teeth and why is extraction usually recommended? The following is information on what wisdom teeth are, what their purpose is and why having them removed is often recommended.

Wisdom teeth are molars, the back teeth. Children and teens get molars in sets of a few teeth at a time, with the wisdom teeth being the third and final set. They usually come in during the late teens or around the time someone is college aged, which is why they are nicknamed wisdom teeth.

Even though natured designed the third molars to be a normal part of our dentition (all of our teeth together), there are several factors that can cause wisdom teeth to be problematic. Because they are the last molars, they sometimes don’t have enough room to fit. This can happen if other teeth are misaligned or taking up too much space. The wisdom teeth will attempt to come in but wind up at an angle, or even horizontal if there isn’t enough space for them to come in correctly. They also may get trapped under the gums, which is called impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth or wisdom teeth that are angled or horizontal can cause pain or cause problems with the position of the other teeth. When wisdom teeth are partially impacted but raise slightly above the gumline, they can introduce bacteria under the gums. The whole area around incorrectly positioned wisdom teeth is also difficult to clean properly with a toothbrush, which can lead to bacterial buildup and eventually gum disease.

If wisdom teeth are in proper position, it may not be necessary to have them removed, but sometimes removal is still recommended to avoid potential problems later. The removal of wisdom teeth does not cause any problems with chewing, speaking or the other teeth. It is better to have wisdom teeth removed when the patient is young, because the extraction is easier at this time before the roots of the teeth are fully developed. Younger people also usually heal and recover from the procedure more quickly. Call Kettleman Dental Care if you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth or to set up a consultation appointment.