10 Key Things To Know About Wisdom Teeth, Including Their Function, Purpose and Age of Appearance
1. How did wisdom teeth get their name, and where are they located?
The wisdom teeth often appear no earlier than age 15, and it is believed that the name represents a mark of maturity. Wisdom teeth typically appear by the age of 25, but there are exceptions as some patients actually notice them even later.
The 3rd molars may grow in at different times to further support the theory that they represent the attainment of maturity and development. These symbolic teeth are located next to each of the 2nd molars, and sometimes never grow out of the gums.
2. Why do patients have their wisdom teeth removed?
A lot of patients choose to have wisdom teeth extractions before there are any signs of complications. Your dentist is going to examine the way that these teeth are growing and decide if it is best to go ahead with the removal process.
Some reasons that a dentist would recommend wisdom teeth removal include:
• Irritation of the surrounding tissue or the signs of a cavity forming
• Inability to achieve a proper and thorough routine cleaning of food and bacteria
• Inadequate space to accommodate full eruption
• Signs of impaction that could lead to damage of surrounding roots
• Uncomfortable contact with other teeth or gums
• Interference of normal jaw function
3. Is it necessary to have wisdom teeth removal if they’re not bothering me?
Plenty of patients have their 3rd molars come in without any signs of pain or complications, but this does not mean that you shouldn’t visit a dentist. You may not realize that the tooth is only partially erupted and putting you at risk of infections. Extraction risk is higher as you get older, and most dentists are uncomfortable extracting wisdom teeth beyond the age of 30. The teeth will be more firmly attached to the jaw bone and there is also the chance of broken roots becoming displaced into the sinuses. Always get checked out as a precaution rather than wait until symptoms bring you to the emergency dentist Newington CT.
4. What could happen if I never have my wisdom teeth extracted?
You may not see a reason to have your 3rd molars pulled if they aren’t causing an immediate problem, but things can change over time. These teeth can become painfully impacted, or cause cavities to form if there isn’t enough room to clean. Other teeth can shift to accommodate the new teeth and cause a problematic bite adjustment. Your dentist is going to indicate if it is necessary to have an extraction based on the evidence of an examination.
5. Do people commonly experience health problems as a result of not having their wisdom teeth extracted?
People tend to ignore important health issues if they are not dealing with actual pain, but there is plenty of potential for health problems relating to the 3rd molars. Unless your dentist indicates otherwise, it is often recommended to treat these teeth with precautionary removal.
These complications can arise at any age:
• Recurring infections in the surrounding soft tissue
• Fluid filled cysts near the tooth
• The onset of gum disease
• Gradual decay of 3rd or 2nd molars
• Partial or angulated eruption
6. What can I do to control my own wisdom tooth pain naturally?
One of the most common remedies to alleviate the inflammation caused by a growing wisdom tooth is a rinse of saltwater. This is a basic saline solution that is going to keep the area clean so that infections do not worsen the symptoms. Always avoid eating on the side that the tooth is trying to grow and don’t drink fluids that are noticeably hot or cold. If the area does begin to swell or feel irritated, an ice pack can be applied on the outside of the face as needed. Another remedy that you can try at home is to apply a small amount of clove oil to a cotton ball before placing it over the tooth. The pain can extend to the ear of the same side, ranging from a slight sensation to an intense throbbing ache that is sometimes felt in the shoulders and back.
If the pain is worsening or you notice pus around the tooth, it is best to visit an emergency dentist to begin antibiotic therapy. It isn’t safe to do wisdom teeth extractions with an infection present, so ignoring your symptoms could delay the treatment that you need.
7. Is it normal to have throbbing pain and pus accumulation in a partially erupted wisdom tooth?
Dentists refer to the symptoms of throbbing pain and pus around a partially erupted wisdom tooth as Pericoronitis. Although this is a common complication, it is a sign of infection that should be handled by a professional. The tooth may be impacted and cause rapidly worsening symptoms that would require immediate help from an emergency dentist. Treatment is often as simple as a thorough cleaning and the removal of some tissue when necessary.
8. Why is it common for a wisdom tooth to grow in horizontally?
The size of the human jaw has decreased through evolution, leaving less room for the last four teeth to comfortably grow into place. Wisdom teeth do stay beneath the surface of the gum for some patients, yet others do notice that theirs begin to erupt despite the size constraint. Without enough room to grow normally in the arch, the wisdom teeth often erupt horizontally.
9. Are there health risks of leaving a wisdom tooth that is only slightly protruding? Is it best to have the tooth removed?
There is a significant chance of infection developing in the space between a partially erupted tooth and the gums. Thorough cleaning is absolutely necessary to avoid complications, but this isn’t always an easy area to access. The risk is going to increase with age because infections can become more common, and the body is less capable of repairing itself. If the tooth is stuck partially beneath the gums, this is a clear indication that it simply does not fit. It is best to have it removed at an early age than to deal with infections and pain that will lead to an inevitable visit to the emergency dentist Newington CT.
It’s understood that it’s more difficult to adequately clean a wisdom tooth, so there is a good chance that the plaque will lead to decay. Proper access to this location to repair a cavity is rare, and most patients have a gag reflex when the dentist has to reach far into the back of the mouth. It’s even more difficult to fill a wisdom tooth cavity if the tooth erupted at an irregular angle. A cavity may lead to the dentist recommending an extraction of the tooth to avoid the risk of damage to the neighboring 2nd molar.
10. What are common risks associated with a wisdom tooth extraction surgery?
• Nerve damage that causes a change in sensations felt in the tongue, lower lip, or chin
• Sinus damage caused by an upper wisdom tooth extraction
• Lower jawbone weakening
• Infection in the open socket caused by trapped food particles and bacteria
• Pain and delayed healing caused by a dislodged blood clot (dry socket) exposing the bone in the wound area