Your wisdom teeth are so named because of their late arrival in your mouth, at an age when you’re thought to have more wisdom. However, these late-erupting teeth can have a negative impact on your overall oral health, or that of your child, making extraction the only wise choice.
At The Art of Dental Wellness, Dr. Kerri Hill helps her patients in Beverly Hills, California safeguard their dental health by taking proactive measures to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and infection, all of which can be be caused by wisdom teeth.
Read on to learn more about the ways wisdom teeth can negatively impact your oral health.
One of the most common problems with wisdom teeth is their propensity to become impacted. Most of your adult teeth are in place by the time you’re 13 years old and it’s not for another 4-7 years, on average, before your wisdom teeth begin to make an appearance — if they can.
In many cases, these late-comers stay hidden behind your gums and never erupt. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll encounter problems, the odds are fairly high that they will become troublesome somewhere down the road.
In the worst cases, impacted wisdom teeth cause immediate pain as they try unsuccessfully to push through. Even if you aren’t feeling any pain, impacted wisdom teeth are an invitation for bacteria to enter and create problems with tooth decay, gum disease, and abscesses. And because these teeth are inside your gums or jawbone, these effects can be far-reaching.
In some cases, wisdom teeth do push through, but only partially, which leads to the same problems as impacted teeth and then some. Because they’ve successfully created an opening in your gums, these areas are extremely vulnerable to bacteria.
Also, since they’ve only partially erupted, it can be very difficult to keep up with your oral hygiene in these hard-to-reach areas at the back of your mouth, which may eventually lead to decay in the wisdom teeth, which can spread to your healthy teeth.
Three’s a crowd
Your wisdom teeth are also your third molars and when it comes time for them to erupt, they may do so at the peril of your existing teeth, shifting them out of place or damaging them. They may also be forced to come out sideways and damage the inside of your mouth.
Eliminating the problem
The best way to find out whether your wisdom teeth are going to cause any problems is to come in for an exam where we can have a look and take some X-rays. If we spot a problem, we can quickly extract the teeth before they have a chance to do any damage.
There’s also the possibility that the teeth may come in smoothly and take up their positions in your mouth without any issues. This, too, we can confirm with a thorough evaluation.
To learn more about whether your wisdom teeth might negatively impact your oral health, give us a call or make an appointment using our easy online scheduling tool.