What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars that develop in the back of the mouth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. Over the course of time, humans’ jaws have gradually grown smaller and there is naturally less space for these extra molars. However, with changes in diet, extra molars aren’t necessary, and some people may never have any wisdom teeth grow in at all. For those who do have wisdom teeth, most have four total - two at the top and two at the bottom of the mouth.
Should I Have Them Removed?
In some cases, wisdom teeth may not need to be removed. If your wisdom teeth are healthy overall, completely grown in, do not interfere with biting, and can easily be cleaned, then they may not need to be removed. However, it is more likely that your dentist will recommend removal of your wisdom teeth.
Improperly erupted wisdom teeth can cause more health issues in the long run. If the jaw doesn’t have sufficient space for the wisdom teeth to grow, this is called an impacted wisdom tooth. The tooth could get trapped under the gum or only partially emerge. Either way, an impacted wisdom tooth can grow at different angles and even sideways, causing jaw pain.
Wisdom Teeth Complications
Several wisdom tooth complications may include:
- Overcrowded jaw – causing other teeth to shift may require braces/orthodontic treatment
- Cysts – cysts or possible tumors can damage the jawbone, teeth, and nerves
- Tooth decay – since these teeth are so far in the back of the mouth, they can be harder to keep clean, which can lead to cavities and decay
- Gum disease – an impacted wisdom tooth can affect areas of your gum and cause pain, bleeding, and inflammation
Some dentists believe it is wise to remove the wisdom teeth before the bones and roots have fully developed to allow for quicker recovery after surgery. For that reason, removing wisdom teeth earlier rather than later is usually recommended. If you still choose not to have your wisdom teeth removed, close monitoring with your dentist is recommended.
Contact us online or give us a call at (770) 467-3888 for more information on wisdom teeth and our dental services in Austell!