Why do we have wisdom teeth?
Scholars believe that we have wisdom teeth as the evolutionary answer to eating raw meats, vegetables, and roots. These third set of molars grow in some people between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five, or the wisdom years. They are not always functional and can crowd the mouth or make problems for you in the future. The roots of the wisdom teeth are not fully embedded between the ages of sixteen and nineteen. It is recommended that they are evaluated during this time to make sure that there is no threat. As you get older, the bones in the mouth become harder, making them difficult to remove.
Some dentists decide to take these teeth out to prevent problems later on, even if no symptoms are occurring. Sometimes the teeth are impacted and cannot break into the jaw through the mouth. Waiting to have them removed could cause problems after surgery that include, heavy bleeding, fractured teeth, severe numbness and loss of movement in your jaw. These problems could go away after a little while, or they could last for a lifetime.
When these teeth grow in, sometimes they take up too much space in the mouth. These teeth cannot be straightened out with braces. When the mouth is overcrowded, there is no procedure that can be done to make the teeth all fit together. The only option is to have them removed. A dentist can determine which teeth and how many need to come out. They might have to extract all of them or only a few.
Before the wisdom teeth grow in, there is normally twenty-eight teeth in the mouth. After the wisdom teeth grow in, there are thirty-two teeth. There might not be enough room in everyone’s mouths to fit the extra teeth. Extraction is done to make sure that your mouth has enough room.
Pain and Irritation
Sometimes these teeth can cause aches and pains. If these pains occur, contact your dentist to find the right solution. They can determine if it is the actual wisdom teeth or if something else is causing the pain. When pains and irritations happen, the dentist will not always decide that extraction is the best solution. Over time, the pain might correct itself and no extraction will be required.
If you experience pain while eating, this might be a reason to have your teeth taken out. Food could be getting stuck in between the gums and the tops of the teeth. This could cause a lot of problems if you cannot get to the back of the mouth and clean well enough while brushing. Checking with a dentist to find the right products to fix this problem is the best way to handle it. If it can’t be resolved, extraction might be the only choice.
A Cyst Forms Around the Tooth
When a sac next to the teeth becomes filled with fluid, this is called a cyst. If it goes untreated, it can destroy bones, roots and surrounding structures. It becomes too severe, it can turn into a tumor and require additional surgery.
Teeth are Not Straight
If the wisdom teeth grow in crooked, they can make the other teeth shift and move over. They might even damage the other teeth. Extraction can prevent the other teeth from having any damage. There are multiple theories why wisdom teeth tend to grow out crooked and sideways. It has been said that our jaws are not large enough to accommodate a 3rd molar which then bumps against the others causing it to grow sideways.
You wouldn’t think wisdom teeth can cause sinus problems, think again. These problems arise when teeth grow in on the upper jaw. When the teeth grow and roots develop, they can push and rub against the sinuses putting pressure on them. Even though this problem doesn’t happen frequently, wisdom teeth can sometimes lead to sinus pain, pressure, headaches, and congestions.
The position of the wisdom teeth can have a big impact on cleaning surfaces where bacteria can hide. If the gums become irritated, pockets can develop between the teeth and cause bacteria to grow. This will then promote the development of cavities leading to infecting and affecting more than just your teeth.
Sometimes when wisdom teeth start sprouting out, it can create a flap of gum tissue that resides next to the tooth. This gum tissue can trap small particles of food and bacteria. Tissue around the teeth can become hard and inflamed, making it hard to clean. This is called pericoronitis, it can also occur around wisdom teeth that are still underneath your gums.
The procedure is done by the dentist or the oral surgeon. Patients usually have a local or general anesthetic. A general anesthetic will require someone to help you after the surgery. Depending on how many teeth will be removed and the severity of the case, the procedure can take from one up to several hours. If you are having the surgery, you might have to avoid blood thinner and aspirin prior to the surgery. There will also be aftercare with prescription medication for the pain.
Some people live with their wisdom teeth for their entire lives. It is not recommended to remove any teeth because there is the chance of the teeth shifting. If they are not causing you any problems, you should not worry about having them removed. If they have to be removed, you might have to have them removed two at a time (all of the top teeth or all of the bottom teeth), or you might have to get all of them removed at the same time. This option is what is recommended to keep you from having to make a second appointment.
Whatever the condition that your teeth is in, visiting your Indianapolis dentist regularly can prevent painful occurrences later on. Making sure that you maintain a healthy dental routine along with a healthy diet will keep your mouth healthy and pain-free. A regular routine of brushing, flossing and using a good mouthwash will keep your smile free from infection and pain. Most importantly, make sure that you follow the directions of your dentist.
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office welcomes patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.