Many people wrongly assume that if they did not have issues with their wisdom teeth in their late teens or early 20s then they are “off the hook.” Yet, not everyone’s mouth develops and reacts the same way. Wisdom teeth need to be given proper attention no matter what your age is. Ignoring your wisdom teeth will not make them go away – it will often only lead to serious problems and severe pain within your mouth.
Regular dental visits allow your dentist to keep an eye on the development and placement of your wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth are the third molars that are situated at the very back of the mouth. Most people do not have room inside their mouth for these extra molars to erupt. The mouth has limited real estate, and having teeth try to move in where there is no space can result in disaster for your smile.
By the time people reach young adulthood (late teens/early 20s), their smile has fully developed. Whether or not they have had orthodontic treatment, the smile they show the world is their mature smile. If they wisdom teeth begin to erupt inside the mouth, their smile will be effected. Wisdom teeth that do not have room to erupt will put pressure on their neighboring teeth. This pressure will begin with discomfort, and will lead to pain and the misalignment of the permanent teeth. As the wisdom teeth keep applying pressure from trying to push their way into the mouth, this will cause the other permanent teeth to be moved out of position. For those who have undergone expensive orthodontic treatment, this can undo all of the work that you did to achieve a beautifully straight smile.
In some cases, the wisdom teeth are able to partially erupt inside the mouth. This allows them to partially break through the gums, but not all the way through. When this occurs, a small opening in the gums occurs; this opening is an ideal place for bacteria and food particles to become trapped. One of the most common results of a partially erupted wisdom tooth is an infection and/or abscess. This can cause excruciating pain that will debilitate your life.
To learn more about wisdom teeth, complications, and if/when you need to have yours treated, contact Group Health Dental. Please don’t ignore your wisdom teeth! These teeth should be dealt with as soon as they appear to prevent potential problems.