Lose Your Wisdom Teeth, Keep Your Smile
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors did not have this issue. Then again, maybe they did and they just didn’t have a way to deal with it.
This is something that affects nearly 100 percent of people and causes problems for 75 to 85 percent of us, according to experts.
We’re talking about our wisdom teeth.
These are the last teeth to erupt in our mouths, and more often than not, we don’t have enough room for them to erupt correctly.
Normally, dentists want our patients to keep all their teeth, but wisdom teeth are the exception to that rule.
At Parkway Dental in Snellville, GA, we can perform most wisdom teeth extractions in our office. Keep reading to learn about the reasons we are glad that we are able to do this for our patients.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Most people start losing their primary teeth between the ages of 6 or 7. By the time you are 12 or 13, your permanent usually have emerged. Many start orthodontic treatment around this time.
After a few years or treatment, your teeth are straight and aligned in your mouth. From a cosmetic perspective, this improves the appearance of your smile. From a health perspective, this makes it easier to clean your teeth from all angles.
Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars (the larger, flatter teeth used to grind food). They got their nickname because they erupt in people’s late teens or early 20s, when they are presumably wiser than they were when the other teeth erupted.
This explains what wisdom teeth are, but not why you may want or need them removed.
◼︎ Wisdom teeth often become impacted.
What is an impacted tooth? It’s a tooth that does not erupt completely above your gumline.
That can be partially impacted or completely impacted (which means the tooth is there, it just never breaks the surface of your gums). Neither of these situations is good for your teeth or your oral health.
One of the most common concerns is that impacted wisdom teeth will affect the alignment of your smile.
Imagine you have spent years wearing braces or another kind of orthodontic device. Your smile looks great for a few years, and then your wisdom teeth start to grow. Instead of emerging in the back of your mouth, they become impacted because your jaw is not large enough to accommodate another set of teeth.
As a result, your wisdom teeth grow at an angle. They start to push on your second molars, which press into your first molars, which … you get the idea. If this continues, all the work you did with your orthodontic treatment will have been wasted.
Or, you can have your wisdom teeth removed as soon as you are aware of the problem and keep your teeth in line.
◼︎ Impacted teeth can put your gums at risk.
Wisdom teeth can do more than change the alignment of your teeth. They can ruin your smile in other ways, too.
They can cause problems with your gums. Specifically, impacted teeth can put you at risk of gum inflammation. This can be painful, but it also increases your chances of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
Pockets can form in your gums between your impacted teeth and your other teeth. These pockets are great places for bacteria to multiply since you can’t reach those pockets with your toothbrush or dental floss.
By removing your wisdom teeth, those pockets don’t have a chance to develop.
◼︎ Impacted teeth a can affect your jaw.
As we said, wisdom teeth can affect more than the alignment of your smile.
If your wisdom teeth grow at certain angles, they can create pockets and cysts near your jawbone. This can lead to a different kind of infection.
In this case, the infection can damage your actual jaw, which is an essential part of the support structure for your teeth and your face. This is certainly a problem you would want to avoid whenever possible.
Thankfully, you can usually avoid this complication by simply taking out your wisdom teeth.
Schedule An Appointment Today
Wisdom teeth are one of the main reasons we take X-rays as part of routine examinations with our patients at Parkway Dental. By taking X-rays, we can monitor the growth of your wisdom teeth and identify problems early.
If we have any concerns, we also are able to perform your wisdom teeth extraction in our dentist office in Snellville, GA, in most cases.