Wisdom Teeth 101

Everything You Need To Know About These Molars

Taking care of your oral health means paying attention to preventive care and symptoms you might not notice if you’re not looking for them. This is especially true when it comes to your wisdom teeth since they can grow in without any pain, but still cause many problems as they do. We know a lot about our molars, incisors, and other necessary teeth, but there are many unknown answers when it comes to our wisdom teeth. Yes, you have to take care of them like the rest of your teeth, but there’s so much more to watch for when these are growing.

What are Wisdom Teeth For?

We all know that our teeth grow in phases. Slowly, over our childhood years, we gain our baby teeth and then lose them as our permanent teeth take their place. But just as you think you don’t have to deal with the discomfort of feeling your enamel push through your gums anymore, here come the wisdom teeth!

“Wisdom teeth,” otherwise known as your third set of molars, usually appear when you’re between 17 and 21 and are gaining your own life knowledge. Assuming you were born with all four, you’ll get two wisdom teeth in each corner.

Technically, wisdom teeth don’t have a set purpose, which is why they are often removed. Since your permanent teeth are already in place, the new ones can cause crowding and other damage.

How Do You Know if Your wisdom teeth are Coming In?

The average person has healthy wisdom teeth that come through easily, with just a little discomfort. Your brain even recognizes the signs of wisdom teeth growth since they are similar to when your permanent teeth came through.

However, you’ll definitely notice some problems if your mouth is small or your teeth are already tightly spaced. As your wisdom teeth grow in, they’re going to need some room, which means they will try to shift or displace the teeth that you already have. When that happens, a dentist will help guide you through this next phase of your oral health to ensure your wisdom teeth don’t get impacted or cause other damage.

What are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

The phrase “impacted wisdom teeth” can sound scary, but with a good dentist, it’s often a straightforward fix. Wisdom teeth can get impacted when they grow, but they’re not in the right position to come straight up your gums as they’re supposed to. This can cause them to get stuck below the surface, and, therefore, impacted.

Impacted wisdom teeth can range in severity from annoying to majorly painful. Your dentist will keep track of the progress of your wisdom teeth as they grow and check for signs that they might be impacted to be taken care of early.

Do All Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Chances are, you know someone who has had their wisdom teeth removed. It’s a popular procedure, but it’s not a guarantee for you. Everyone has a unique mouth shape, so whether you’ll need to have your wisdom teeth taken out or not depends on how they grow in and what’s going on with the rest of your oral health.

There are some basic signs your dentist will look for that signal the need for a wisdom teeth removal procedure, such as:
– Moderate to severe pain as they grow through;
– One or more impacted teeth;
– Long-term bacteria around the area causing infection;
– Cysts around the impacted teeth;
– Damage to surrounding teeth and/or jawbone;
– Gum disease is starting to set in;
– Your teeth are decaying;
– Your mouth is already overcrowded and the permanent teeth are shifting.

Take Care of Your Teeth

It’s quite possible that your wisdom teeth will come through with no problems, but it’s better to have a dentist monitor the growth and watch for signs of upcoming issues. To prevent damage to your permanent teeth, contact your dentist, or your child’s, for an evaluation.