Unlike what the name may imply, “wisdom teeth”, or the third set of molars in your mouth, don’t make you any wiser or provide you with any benefits. In fact, the reason wisdom teeth got their name is because they don’t erupt in your mouth until a later age than all the other molars, usually between the “wise” age of 17 and 25.
In some cases, the wisdom teeth cutting the gums and taking up real estate on your gum line goes unnoticed. They erupt in the right place, as a complete tooth, and are healthy. When this is the case, those wisdom teeth can easily be cleaned with brushing and flossing habits. With good care, the teeth will remain as healthy as the rest of your teeth.
However, in many cases, wisdom teeth cause patients more discomfort or oral health problems because the mouth is too small to accommodate four additional molars. When there’s not enough room for the molars to erupt completely, the tooth will grow at an awkward angle, may only grow halfway through the gums, or may stay completely impacted within the jawbone. This impaction or crooked growth can cause inflammation and soreness of the gums, infection around the tooth, and pain for the patient. Further, the wisdom teeth can add pressure within the mouth that causes the remaining teeth to become crowded or misaligned.
Dr. Vidya Suri of Kings Dental can help patients who are having oral health issues caused by wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth that have erupted the entire way but are crowding other teeth or causing gum disease would simply need to be pulled. This can be done with local anesthesia and/or nitrous oxide sedation to make the patient more comfortable. However, if the teeth are impacted, a surgical extraction, in which the gum and jawbone are cut in order to remove the tooth, is necessary.
If you’re wisdom teeth are causing you discomfort or pain, the first step is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Suri. She will examine your mouth and take x-rays in order to get a better look at the teeth that have erupted and those that have not, as well as to view where the roots of the teeth are located. Once she has a better view of your teeth, Dr. Suri can recommend that right type of extraction to help ease your pain. In fact, Dr. Suri often suggests that patients have a conversation about their wisdom teeth well before they begin causing problems. In some cases, the dentist will see that a tooth is growing horizontally and can extract it before it has a chance to grow larger. As with most dental issues, the sooner a problem is addressed, the easier the extraction will be.
For more information about wisdom tooth extraction, call the Kings Dental office today to schedule an appointment.