Wisdom teeth refer to the third and final set of molars that erupt in the back of the mouth. Despite their name, wisdom teeth don’t make you any wiser. In fact, wisdom teeth don’t really serve a functional purpose in the mouth at all. Instead, these molars usually don’t have enough room to erupt properly. When this happens, they can try to emerge sideways, partially erupt or become fully impacted. To avoid the major disturbance of impacted wisdom teeth, most dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal for older teens and young adults.
Wisdom teeth removal isn’t inevitable. There are some patients who have healthy wisdom teeth that erupt without any issues or crowding of nearby teeth. However, a routine dental checkup and x-rays during adolescence can often help a dentist determine when and if you will need these back molars extracted. Rest assured that wisdom teeth extraction is a straightforward oral surgery with low risk of complications and high success rate. Most patients are able to return to normal activities and eating within a few days.
The Trouble with Wisdom Teeth
As previously mentioned, wisdom teeth are known for causing more harm than good. This includes disruptions that affect your everyday comfort as well as your future oral health. Here are some common complications associated with wisdom teeth that are impacted, erupt sideways or partially erupt:
- Frequent cavities
- Gum disease or inflamed gums
- Jaw alignment problems
- TMJ disorder or jaw damage
- Sinus issues
- Crowding/damage to adjacent teeth
Many of these oral health issues can be traced back to the fact that it is difficult to clean around wisdom teeth when they are crowded or not properly spaced in the back of the mouth. Lingering bacteria can result in cavities, gum disease and other significant damage to your smile health.
Think you may need wisdom teeth removal? We can find out. Schedule your appointment with our Mt. Pleasant dental team. At Rivers + Tanner Family Dentistry, we promise a positive and comfortable experience when it comes to tooth extraction at our office.