Wisdom teeth are the cause of many problems in adults. But what are they, what causes the pain and when should you get them removed? Here’s everything you need to know about wisdom teeth and how we can help you at Whistler Dental.
What are they?
Wisdom teeth, (or third molars) usually appear in adults between the age of 17 and 25. Early humans needed stronger teeth due to a coarse diet of nuts, leaves and meat. These days, our softer diet and access to tools makes them unnecessary – however we are yet to evolve away from them.
Problems and complications
Completing your full set of 32 adult teeth, wisdom teeth have been known to be the cause of much discomfort in adults. Pain can be caused when they grow side ways or only emerge partly, leading to infection and other serious issues.
What problems can be caused?
When teeth become trapped in gums they become ‘impacted.’ This leads to problems including misalignment of teeth, pain or infection. Symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth can include: pain, damage to adjacent teeth, headache or jaw ache, gum injection and even bad breath.
Why you should get a check up
Regular dental check ups are vital to keep an eye on what the teeth are doing. Dentists can check for signs of infections such as tenderness, swelling and inflamed gums. X-rays will show where the teeth are positioned, check for signs of crowding and ensure the right removal strategy can be implemented.
What happens if they are not removed?
While you might think you can manage with a bit of discomfort, there are many reasons why they should be removed. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause cysts. Not only are these painful but they can also damage the adjacent teeth and even the jaw bone. The longer you put off removing these teeth, the more chance of damage to your teeth, gums and bones can occur. Infections can lead to other health problems as well, so it is important they are addressed.
Sometimes wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding and as a result it is still necessary to remove them. Even if they are not a cause of pain, they can make you susceptible to cavities. Too many teeth in a small space makes them less easy to clean which can result in further problems.
Not all wisdom teeth cause problems and some pain while they are growing can be managed easily. It is important to make sure you floss and use fluoride mouthwash to make sure your teeth are kept in good condition. Book an appointment with Whistler Dental to get the best advise about how to care for your wisdom teeth.