What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth

How many pearly whites do you have in your healthy smile?

Your answer may vary somewhere between 28-32, depending on if you still have any of your wisdom teeth. Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth are the last ones to develop and emerge, with most people getting them somewhere between 17-25 years of age.

The Complications

Oftentimes, most mouths simply don’t have enough space for wisdom teeth to come in without negative side-effects. There are a number of complications that wisdom teeth can introduce, including:

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1. Misalignment — More often than not, wisdom teeth don’t come in straight. They may position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars, or be angled inward or outward. This misalignment can lead to crowding or damage to neighboring teeth, and impact the overall health and beauty of your smile.

2. Impacted Teeth — Wisdom teeth may be unable to fully enter your mouth, or may not be able to break through the gums at all because of the lack of available room. If these impacted teeth are allowed to remain, this can cause damage to your existing permanent teeth. They can also lead to bone-destroying cysts and can damage surrounding nerves. Impacted teeth are more common than you might realize.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, nine out of ten people have at least one impacted tooth.

3. Infection — Wisdom teeth that partially break through the gums provide an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth. It can be difficult to keep the partially exposed area of the wisdom tooth clean, and virtually impossible to adequately care for the rest of the tooth still under the surface of the gums. This can commonly result in decay, infection, pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, gum disease, and can even have a negative impact on your overall health.

Be Wise in Your Dealings With Wisdom Teeth

Remember that a pain-free mouth doesn’t automatically signal that your oral health is problem or disease free. This includes the state of your wisdom teeth. Whether you have obvious symptoms or not, it’s prudent to ask each Minneapolis area dentist in our practice to periodically evaluate the presence and positioning of your wisdom teeth, and any potential issues they could cause.

If wisdom teeth need to be taken out, studies show that future complications are greatly reduced, and healing times are optimized when the procedure is carried out sooner than later, and when patients are younger. At Point Family Dentistry, we can help make your wisdom teeth removal comfortable, and painless as possible. We have 3D Cone Beam technology to allow the surgeon to virtually plan for surgery before he or she enters your mouth.

Contact us today, and let your oral health benefit from our years of dental training and experience, including the treatment of wisdom teeth.

Share your comments with us. Do you think most parents realize the importance of being proactive, and having their adolescents wisdom teeth examined before serious complications arise?

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