Over the course of our lives, we experience many changes with our teeth including the development of wisdom teeth. Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth are the last to develop on each side of the upper and lower jaws generally between the late teenage years and the early twenties.
Many of our patients wonder if they should have their wisdom teeth removed. If your third molars are not causing any complications, they likely won’t need to be extracted. When the wisdom teeth are properly aligned, they may even be beneficial in providing additional support while chewing. However, if you have wisdom teeth, continue to monitor their growth and maintain healthy dental practices–be sure to floss daily around your third molars and visit your dentist regularly. A little discomfort is normal as the wisdom teeth erupt. However, if you feel any pain during this process, see a dentist right away to avoid serious complications.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
During an examination, your dentist may conduct an x-ray to evaluate the alignment of your third molars. An x-ray will help your dentist recommend the best course of action to alleviate discomfort or crowding caused by the erupting teeth. If the wisdom teeth become a risk, or they alter the quality of your teeth, your dentist may suggest an extraction. But don’t worry–wisdom tooth extraction is quite common. In fact, about 5 million people in the United States have wisdom teeth extracted each year, according to the American Public Health Association. Sometimes, wisdom teeth can grow misaligned or horizontal, which may require immediate removal. Poor alignment of the wisdom teeth can result in damage to nearby teeth, the jawbone, or surrounding nerves. Also, extraction may be necessary as a treatment component for braces or other dental care needs.
Another common problem with wisdom teeth is the partial eruption of the molars, which creates only a small opening for bacteria to infiltrate the tooth and possibly lead to infection. This type of infection can cause immense pain, swelling of the gums, stiffness in the jaw and other health conditions. Because of the inaccessible location of a partially erupted wisdom tooth, it can be difficult to care for and clean the tooth properly, which may create a vulnerability to gum disease and tooth decay.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of troublesome wisdom teeth, give us a call today to schedule a comprehensive examination at our Southfield or Detroit office. Our team at Aesthetic Dental Clinique is here to help you maintain your very best smile.