Wise Up About Wisdom Teeth
As you get older, you grow wiser (hopefully).
For many of us as we grow up, along with more responsibility and more freedom come more teeth.
Your wisdom teeth, which are actually third molars, can appear between the ages of 17-21. If they come in correctly, they help with chewing. Unfortunately, they’re often more problematic than helpful.
Potential Problems with Wisdom Teeth
Many people don’t have enough space for their wisdom teeth to come in, or sometimes they come in crooked. If your orthodontist or dentist says that your teeth are impacted, it means it means they are trapped in your jaw or under your gums – ouch!
Here’s what what you and your orthodontist or dentist need to look out for as your wisdom teeth come in:
- When wisdom teeth aren’t in the right position, food can become trapped, giving bacteria a place to grow. Hello, cavities!
- Improper tooth position can cause difficulty flossing.
- When your teeth have only partially come in, bacteria can enter your gums and cause infection, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness in your jaw.
- Wisdom teeth can crowd or damage other teeth.
- An impacted wisdom tooth can form a cyst, damaging the roots or the bone that supports your teeth.
Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Not everyone needs to get their wisdom teeth removed, but it does turn out to be a good decision for many people. Wisdom teeth removal may be in your future if you or your dentist notice any of the following:
- damage to neighboring teeth
- gum disease
- tooth decay
Your dentist may also recommend that your wisdom teeth be removed to prepare for orthodontic treatment.
Even if you are fortunate enough to not need your wisdom teeth removed, you still should keep an eye out for potential problems later in life. In the meantime, be sure to floss regularly around your wisdom teeth (and all of your teeth!) and visit your dentist regularly.
If you’re in the Brookings area, contact us today for a free orthodontic consultation for yourself or your child.