Dental Tips Blog

Mar
8

When Wisdom Teeth Don’t Come All The Way In

Wisdom teeth are a rite of passage into adulthood, although many people may not develop them or have them come in at all! For some lucky people, wisdom teeth come in perfectly straight and without any complications whatsoever. For others, they are impacted and never erupt at all. Then there are those who have their teeth come only part of the way through, but never fully erupt in line with all of the other teeth. These are the teeth that dentist refer to as “partially impacted.”

Partially erupted wisdom teeth peek through the gums, but either are not completely erupted or have some gum tissue that continues to cover part of the tooth. This allows food debris and plaque to seep down under the gums, and even further into gingival pockets, making oral hygiene difficult or even impossible for these areas. Over a span of time, these areas can become infected and cause tissue detachment or bone loss. Unfortunately, it’s not only the wisdom tooth that is affected; it also includes the tooth adjacent to it. As a result, the 2nd set of molars may be damaged as well. If the wisdom tooth is impacted against the other molar, tooth decay may develop as well.

Preemptive dental care may include wisdom teeth extraction before complications develop. A clinical examination and panoramic x-ray can determine whether or not the tooth will have the capability to fully erupt or not. Should bone or other teeth wedge the tooth in, then it may be in the best interest of the patient to have it removed before complications develop later on.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Feb
10

3 Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom tooth removal may seem as a rite of passage into adulthood, but a lot of people wonder why and if it’s really necessary. If wisdom teeth form in every adult, why do so many people have to have them out?

Here are 3 reasons you should consider removing your wisdom teeth:

Chronic pain

This one goes without being said. For some people, wisdom teeth can cause severe pain that comes and goes or exists constantly until the teeth are removed. This is usually because the tooth is impacted against other teeth and is trying to push its way out without any success.  

Infection of the tooth or area around the tooth

Sometimes wisdom teeth can develop cysts around them that damage surrounding bone. Other times, the tooth comes in partially, but allows debris and bacteria to pack underneath the gums. This makes it difficult to clean and as a result, wisdom teeth often develop gum disease, bone loss, and cause damage to the adjacent tooth. If the tooth proves to be partially erupted, your dentist will likely recommend wisdom teeth extraction as a proactive measure to prevent inevitable problems later on.  

Increased risk for tooth decay

Wisdom teeth can be difficult to keep clean. Although some people can manage good oral hygiene around their 3rd set of molars, they typically are more prone to get cavities than other teeth. Decay can spread from one tooth to another, so this will jeopardize otherwise healthy teeth in the mouth. If decay is found on the wisdom tooth, then removal is typically recommended before another type of restoration.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Mar
28

Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you are like many young adults, you may have noticed a third set of molars erupting in your late teens or early twenties.  These molars are called wisdom teeth because they are the last set of teeth you will ever get.

Wisdom teeth can generally stay in place if they are healthy and properly aligned.  For teenagers that had braces, wisdom teeth may have erupted after braces came off.  If this is the case, the orthodontist may be consulted to see if the new molars will cause any shifting or changing of the tooth pattern.

In some cases, wisdom teeth simply do not have the room to stay in place.  Signs that there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth include pain in or around the new tooth, infections or cysts at the gum line, or tooth decay on the wisdom tooth or between the wisdom tooth and the second molar.

Reviewing your past dental records, your dentist will determine if your wisdom teeth can stay in place or not.  If they need to be removed, he or she will schedule an appointment when this can be done.  Wisdom teeth extraction may require that you be placed under anesthesia, depending on how fully the tooth erupted.  Your dentist will explore all possible options with you prior to the appointment.

If it is determined that your wisdom teeth may stay in place, your dentist will continue to monitor them at each visit.  As we age, the shape of our mouth changes, and it may be possible that the wisdom teeth need to be removed at a later time.

If you have concerns about your wisdom teeth, schedule an appointment to see your local dentist.  He can determine the best course of action for you and your wisdom teeth.

Posted on behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Feb
10

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

The last set of molars to erupt in adults is often called “wisdom teeth.” Wisdom teeth usually begin forming as an adolescent and may continue to develop through the late 20’s. While some people’s wisdom teeth come in straight and without complication, others often find themselves experiencing pain or swelling associated with the 3rd set of molars.

Wisdom teeth often become impacted against the adjacent molars when there is not enough room in the jawbone for the tooth to erupt into. This causes the molar to erupt at an angle, becoming lodged into the next tooth. In many cases the tooth will erupt just partially into the mouth, leaving a small opening in the gums that allows food, plaque and debris to enter into the area. Because this is almost impossible to keep clean, impacted wisdom teeth can quite easily develop tooth decay as well as gum disease. Both of these conditions may spread to the adjacent molar, causing problems in not one, but both teeth. Multiply this times 4, and you can find yourself experiencing problems all over your mouth due to impacted wisdom teeth.

Extracting wisdom teeth when they are experiencing problems, or when your dentist foresees an upcoming problem due to the way they are coming in, is very normal. Some patients can just have local anesthesia at the area for the teeth to be extracted, while other people prefer to have sedation during the wisdom teeth extraction procedure. Either way, your dentist will work directly with you to help you choose the best way to keep you comfortable during the visit. Following the extraction you will want to limit your diet to soft foods for a few days. Your dentist may also prescribe a pain reliever to keep you comfortable during your recovery.

Sep
13

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Posted in Oral Surgery

Wisdom teeth are last set of molars to erupt.  Most people have four wisdom teeth: two upper and two lower at the back of the mouth.  Wisdom teeth usually come in when the person is in their late teens or early 20’s. Healthy wisdom teeth that come in straight are not a problem but in many cases, there is not enough room left for the wisdom teeth to erupt properly.  They can come in crooked, crowd the existing teeth, or get stuck and not fully erupt.  When this happens, the wisdom teeth are called “impacted” and must be removed.

Most impacted wisdom teeth are painful and removal is necessary for relief, but even if the impacted wisdom tooth is not causing pain or any other symptoms, it should be removed.  If an impacted wisdom tooth is not removed, it can easily lead to infection.  Since the impacted wisdom tooth is only partially erupted, bacteria can enter under the soft tissue and around the gums and cause an infection.  The area is also difficult to brush or floss properly which leads to gum disease and tooth decay.

As a person ages, the jawbone becomes harder and denser and the wisdom tooth root becomes fully developed.  This makes the wisdom tooth extraction procedure in older patients more difficult and recovery times longer.  Oral surgeons generally recommend removing wisdom teeth when the person is in their early 20’s.

People who have reached the age of 30 with fully erupted wisdom teeth that do not cause any problems generally don’t need to have their wisdom teeth extracted.  At this point, it is unlikely that the wisdom teeth will cause any future problems and the wisdom teeth should be treated just like the rest of the teeth.

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