Most people are given the option of extracting their wisdom teeth while they’re young adults. You might be facing that decision right now. Naturally, few people are happy to have even one tooth pulled, let alone up to four at once!
But there are pluses to getting your third molars out sooner rather than later.
Are You In Pain?
Wisdom teeth that are erupting through the gums can be quite irritating. You can head off the pain before it starts by opting to have your wisdom teeth taken out.
Your wisdom teeth may not be bothering you right now. But your dentist may recommend extraction anyway if they appear to be on a collision course with other teeth.
Do You Really Need Them?
Because wisdom teeth are located so far back in the mouth, it’s easy to neglect them with brushing and flossing. This puts them at risk for developing cavities and gum disease in the tissues around them.
Should problems arise, you’re not going to be in a hurry to treat those teeth with a filling or crown. So, this brings you to a dilemma: would you prefer to have those molars pulled as the need arises? Or would it be simpler to just have them taken out all at once at a convenient time you can plan for?
True, some people manage to hold onto their wisdom teeth their entire lives without much trouble. To see if that’s going to work in your case, you’ll need to work closely with your dentist. Keep an eye on how your wisdom teeth develop and keep them as clean as you can.
Posted on behalf of:
River Ranch Dental
203 George Hopper Rd #100
Midlothian, TX 76065
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.
Your final set of molars usually erupts between your late teens to mid-twenties, and are most commonly known as wisdom teeth. These teeth are the 3rd set of molars located just behind the set that erupted around the time you were 12 years old. While most of us don’t recall having pain or discomfort during the eruption of our other teeth, many people experience moderate discomfort associated with their wisdom teeth.
Because of their location and common jaw anatomy, wisdom teeth are at an increased risk to develop gum infections, bone loss and tooth decay. This is mostly due to the fact that their location makes them extremely difficult to keep clean, and they can be prone to allow food or bacteria to pack under the gums around them. Unfortunately it doesn’t just stop there. When dental diseases develop in one tooth, they also spread to the adjacent teeth. That means when you can’t keep a wisdom tooth clean, healthy and decay free, that decay jumps right over to the next molar sitting right beside it.
While extracting wisdom teeth isn’t always needed, the American Dental Association does recommend wisdom teeth extractions for the following reasons:
Some people have great oral anatomy that allows their wisdom teeth to erupt unobstructed, with wonderful access to keep them clean. Others on the other hand, may have shorter jaws that prevent the tooth from even breaking through, and cause it to become impacted against the roots of another tooth. In order for your dentist to determine the health of your wisdom teeth, a large panoramic x-ray will be taken. These films are taken once about every three to five years, which are often enough to properly evaluate the formation of wisdom teeth.
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