Don’t Let Your Wisdom Teeth Cause Future Problems

Take care of those wisdom teeth before they cause problems

Prevent your wisdom teeth from becoming a pain point.

Every year, millions of people need to have their third molars, or “wisdom teeth,” removed for a variety of reasons. While not everyone has a problem with these teeth, it is important to understand what they are, what they’re used for, and how they can cause problems for your oral health. 

Knowing the signs and symptoms of wisdom tooth-related issues can keep you from experiencing major complications in the long run, and catching a problem early means there is a chance it can be treated before it causes too much damage.  

What exactly are our third molars? 

Our third molars are a set of teeth that predate modern man. They were vital to the chewing process of certain foods prior to the modernization of agriculture. Much of the food that prehistoric humans ate was very coarse, rough, and often raw, and the additional molars were used to help grind up food, like vegetation, nuts, and even some meats.

The modern diet is much softer, and this softer diet has influenced the development of the palate, muscles, and soft tissues needed for chewing. There are many theories as to why a significant number of people require wisdom teeth removal at some point in their life. Perhaps the human skull is just smaller, or maybe the change in the type of food we eat has altered development.

Either way, the third molar or wisdom tooth is often not able to fit in the mouth and is unnecessary for eating. While not everyone has a third set of molars, those who do typically notice them growing in between the ages of 17 and 25. This is thought to be the origin of the term “wisdom teeth,” as by the time a person has these teeth, they are considered older and wiser than children. 

Why Many People Have Wisdom Teeth Removed

There are multiple reasons why people may have to have a wisdom tooth extracted. The most common reason is due to a lack of space in the mouth for the wisdom teeth. In many people, the lack of space leads to the teeth not erupting properly in the mouth, causing what is known as an impacted wisdom tooth. 

An impacted wisdom tooth can be either a tooth that has only partially erupted from the gumline or one that has not erupted at all. In either case, this can potentially cause a whole range of issues, which is why many dentists recommend wisdom tooth extraction. 

Even in cases where wisdom teeth erupt normally, there is a possibility that the teeth may develop issues in the future due to crowding and space related issues that can affect not only the wisdom tooth itself, but other teeth, the jawbone, and more. 

How to Tell If You Have Problems with Your Wisdom Teeth

It’s important to know that some problems caused by wisdom teeth will have definite signs and symptoms, while others will not. This means it is important to maintain routine visits to your local family dentist in Austin to make sure  issues don’t go undetected, even if you feel fine. 

The most obvious symptom that signals you may have problems with your wisdom teeth is tooth pain. This may result from a number of things, such as an infection, a partial eruption, or the actual position of the tooth because they can sometimes come in at angle or completely sideways, or infection. 

Other noticeable issues that may occur include pain and inflammation in the gums due to gum disease that has developed around the wisdom tooth, fluid sacs that develop around the wisdom tooth, and damage to adjacent teeth. 

Due to the location of wisdom teeth, they can be very difficult to reach, and this can make it hard to get them clean with regular oral hygiene practices. This can lead to the buildup of food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can cause gum disease and tooth decay. These issues can also be more difficult for your dentist to treat depending on the position of the tooth and how easy it is to access. 

How Getting Wisdom Teeth Extracted Can Save You from Future Problems 

As we’ve discussed, there are many issues that cause you to need wisdom teeth removal. While some people may never experience issues with their wisdom teeth, dentists recommend extraction for roughly 60% of patients. 

The truth is getting your wisdom teeth extracted, even if they don’t present any noticeable issues, can save you from many future problems. Wisdom teeth are known to cause spacing issues in the mouth for instance, and leaving them in, even with no visible signs of damage, can cause decay and damage to both the wisdom teeth and adjacent teeth over time. 

Additionally, wisdom teeth have been known to cause issues with corrective dentistry, such as braces and aligners, and this can drastically alter the way these treatments perform. Even issues that have clear symptoms may take time to develop, and the longer wisdom teeth are left in the mouth, the greater the chances of developing symptoms. 

It’s always best to get routine care from your dentist and follow their suggestions when it comes to potential problems with your wisdom teeth and wisdom teeth removal. If you have questions about your wisdom teeth or if you need to schedule your next appointment, feel free to contact us anytime.

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