wisdom teeth

Four Things to Know About Your Wisdom Teeth

Your third set of molars can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth.  They come in during your late teen years, pressing against other teeth, causing pain, jaw problems, and even decay in otherwise healthy teeth.

Wisdom teeth don’t make you any wiser, but they can give you a headache – literally!  Here are four things you should know about your third set of molars and what you can do to keep your teeth in good shape, having a healthy smile for years to come.

  1. They Might Not Be A Problem!  Not everyone develops wisdom teeth.  If you are one of those lucky few, you’ll likely find out before you turn 20.  There’s no action to take if you don’t grow a third set of molars. It’s actually less of a hassle for you! Even if your third molars do develop, they could grow in straight and without complication. In cases where the second molar has been lost or extracted, the wisdom tooth next to it may be a welcome replacement to stabilize your bite.
  2. Your Gums May Be at Risk. Many times, wisdom teeth begin to erupt but only make it part of the way through the gums.  There might not be room in the jaw for them to come up all the way, or they could be impacted, running into other teeth.  The gums around a partially erupted tooth usually remain swollen, and won’t form a tight pocket around the base. This allows food particles to enter the gums and it may be impossible to clean well on your own. Bacteria feeds below the gums causing periodontal disease; bacteria can even enter the bloodstream at this point, setting you up for bigger overall health issues down the road.
  3. Wisdom Teeth Can Harm Your Other Teeth.  When your 12-year molars are still intact, the wisdom teeth may become impacted, pressing up against your otherwise healthy roots. The trauma may cause structural damage or allow for cavities to develop. Tooth decay can spread from tooth to tooth, creating a chain of cavities, root canals, and restorations. For this reason, many dentists recommend removing the wisdom teeth if there isn’t enough space.
  4. Wisdom Teeth Can Develop Cysts. If you don’t have your wisdom teeth removed and they don’t erupt, it can still be dangerous to your oral health. Overtime, those unerupted teeth may cause lingering cysts around them. Maybe As the cysts grow, they can weaken the bone and press against other teeth!  

Keeping an eye on your teen’s developing wisdom teeth can help prevent dental and health problems over time. Having your wisdom teeth out is an easy solution to prevent these common oral health risks, but only if the teeth will have a problem growing in.  Contact Raleigh Dental Arts today to schedule your next appointment and find out how to be wise about your child’s wisdom teeth!

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