It’s Wise to Have a Dentist Check Your Wisdom Teeth
They’re called Wisdom Teeth because they usually make their appearance later in life, when you are expected to be a bit wiser then you were when the rest of your adult teeth came in. But Wisdom teeth, or third molars are they are called by dental health professionals, are a sign of another kind: time to have a dentist check them out.
While many people have no problems with this last set of molars to come in, and their wisdom teeth are healthy and properly aligned, many others face pain and risk serious complications from wisdom teeth that are misaligned, impacted or infected.
Misaligned third molars can grow into a horizontal position or come in at odd angles, causing problems and even crowding and damaging, nerves, the jawbone or adjacent teeth.
The most serious problem for erupting wisdom teeth happens when they become impacted. This means they do not fully erupt from the gum but rather are enveloped in soft tissue and the jawbone, only erupting partially. This allows a place for bacteria to thrive and can, and often does, lead to a stiff jaw, pain, swelling and an overall feeling of malaise for the patient.
These partially impacted teeth, and all wisdom teeth for that matter, are also far more prone to gum disease and tooth decay. Their placement in the mouth is difficult to reach and clean effectively though brushing and flossing, something we preach all day, every day.
While it’s become almost a rite of passage to adulthood to have your wisdom teeth removed, the difficulty of this procedure varies, depending on the position of the teeth and their where they are in development and how embedded they are in the jawbone.
It’s why we, at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland, recommend screening for problems with third molars early and then periodically, so we can catch any problems when they are easier to treat. This will dramatically reduce the likelihood of them becoming infected and leading to complications.
Call us today to discuss any questions you may have about your dental health or to schedule an appointment.