A lot of people come into the dental office asking whether or not their wisdom teeth are causing any problems for the rest of their smile. Unfortunately there is no straightforward response, because the answer can change from person to person. Many people enjoy fully erupted wisdom teeth that are easy to care for and never cause any problems whatsoever.
However, wisdom teeth can create problems for other teeth when they are:
Infected or Decayed
Even fully erupted wisdom teeth are difficult to keep healthy, simply due to their location in the mouth. This means they are also more likely to get cavities or gum disease around them. Unfortunately those cavities or bone loss don’t just impact the wisdom teeth – they almost always create problems for the tooth right next to it.
If a wisdom tooth is only partially erupted through the gums, bacteria and food can become lodged down underneath the gum tissue surrounding the tooth. As mentioned previously, this makes the area difficult to clean and infections around the tooth typically develop.
ImpactedLet’s say that the wisdom tooth never erupts at all. Instead, it is impacted at an angle against the other tooth, preventing it from going anywhere. Although this may seem harmless, the pressure caused by the wisdom tooth could actually damage the neighboring healthy tooth. Some common side effects include bone loss, cavities or trauma to the nerve.
Your dentist can evaluate your wisdom teeth by taking a large panoramic image of your teeth and jaws. This simple x-ray makes it easy to see exactly what is going on in your smile. Most patients should have a panorex taken every 3-5 years.
Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
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