As we get older, especially if we make it a point to practice good daily oral hygiene for overall dental health, it’s sometimes safe to assume that we never have serious tooth problems. But one of the most common exceptions to that rule comes when wisdom teeth make their unexpected appearance along the gum line. Some dentists will recommend that adults have them removed after their first appearance, while others may claim that oral surgery is only necessary if chronic pain persists. So how serious are those wisdom teeth, and can they affect your long-term dental health?
Common Wisdom Teeth Symptoms
Wisdom teeth are really a set of ‘third molars’ and are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth. Usually, they appear as a set of four, one in each corner of the mouth at the back. If wisdom teeth erupt, it is usually between the ages of 17 and 24, but can also erupt much later into adulthood. Symptoms are common here as they are the last molars to enter the mouth, there is often not enough space for them to fully come through. Depending each unique case, the possible pain and discomfort can greatly vary from person to person. The teeth may only partially erupt into the mouth or not come through at all.
The pain associated with the appearance of wisdom teeth are caused by their ‘impaction.’ A tooth is described as impacted if it is blocked from erupting into the mouth fully, causing nerve pain as the rest of the teeth are pushed out of the way. The new wisdom teeth will lie at an angle instead of being upright, remaining tipped against the tooth in front of it. Impacted teeth can cause a range of problems, but can sometimes cause no problem at all. Because of this, there is confusion regarding just how serious a problem the wisdom teeth truly are for complete dental health: if your other teeth are being painfully lodged out of place, there is cause for quick oral surgery. If not, it all depends on your personal discomfort.
Different Types of Wisdom Teeth Appearances
Since each case of wisdom tooth appearances are unique to person suffering their emergence, the end result of the possible damage to dental health can vary as well. Usually, however, there are three common variables.
- The wisdom teeth remain completely hidden within the gums. If they aren’t able to emerge normally, the wisdom teeth become impacted within your jaw. This can lead to possible infection, or can cause a cyst among the other teeth.
- The wisdom teeth can emerge only partially through the gums. Unfortunately, because this area is hard clean, those wisdom teeth that partially emerge create a passageway that trap bacteria, leading to possible gum disease and oral infection.
- The can also crowd nearby teeth. If wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to come in properly, they may crowd or damage nearby teeth — necessitating possible braces or a retainer later in life.
Quality Dental Care from Affinity Dental
See your dentist regularly to ensure your dentures are always in perfect condition! At Affinity Dental, we strive to provide our patients with the personal, professional, quality dental care they need, while making it convenient, painless, and affordable. We offer morning, evening, and weekend hours to accommodate our patients and provide access to care to fit your busy schedule.
We accept most insurance plans and offer convenient payment options. Our doctors and staff are dedicated to improving your dental health! Call us today, at 410-719-7900.