Becoming a young adult comes with a lot of change, including getting your last four permanent teeth - your third molars, also known as wisdom teeth. Sadly, these do not come with the added benefit of adult wisdom but often come with wisdom teeth issues. If you are experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth, your dentist may recommend removing them. There are a few reasons why this might be the wisest thing to do.
Common Wisdom Teeth Problems And Smart Solutions
Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Your wisdom teeth could be as useful as any of your other teeth, but because they are in the very back of the mouth, most often, they don't have enough room to grow. This may result in crooked or sideways wisdom teeth in your jaw, but don't worry; this is common. Known as an "impacted" tooth, the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) has found that nine out of ten patients have at least one "impacted" tooth.
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Your dentist may recommend removing your impacted wisdom tooth to help protect your oral health.
- Healthy teeth can be damaged as impacted wisdom teeth push against your neighboring second molars.
- Impacted wisdom teeth often become decayed or infected because they're hard to reach with your toothbrush.
- 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.
When is the Best Time to Remove Them?
When your dentist finds problems with your wisdom teeth or thinks that they could create complications in your mouth, he or she will most likely recommend removing one or all of your wisdom teeth. The good news is, wisdom teeth are easier to remove when you're younger because the roots may not be entirely developed, and the bone around the teeth isn't as dense. This means there is less likelihood of damaging surrounding nerves, teeth, or bone during removal.
When Would you Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?
If you have a wider mouth, your wisdom teeth are more likely to erupt without fully interfering with your other teeth. But it is always advised to consult with your dentist first to make sure that they are functional and not affecting your bite. Your third molars should also be cavity-free, surrounded by healthy gum tissue, and not causing any pain.
To protect and keep your full smile, you'll need to have a good oral hygiene home routine - brushing your teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste, giving extra special attention to the back of your mouth, and flossing or cleaning between your teeth. You can also use an antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce lingering bacteria in your mouth.
Remember to visit your dentist to help you avoid wisdom teeth issues, and take x-rays during regular checkup appointments to protect your smile!
Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider.