You’ve heard people say that no news is good news. That applies perfectly to wisdom teeth.
The only time most people hear anything about wisdom teeth is when they are causing problems. Unfortunately, that happens more often than we would like when wisdom teeth start to erupt.
Our dentists in Spring, TX, don’t want any of our patients to suffer for any reason. That is why we perform wisdom teeth removals in our office when needed. Many times, wisdom teeth can be removed before they are able to cause any major problems or pain.
Today, we are going to answer some frequently asked questions about wisdom teeth.
If you have more questions or someone in your family is ready to have his or her wisdom teeth taken out, contact Texas Dental Group for an appointment. You can fill out our online contact form or call us at 832-791-1706.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars. Most people get their permanent teeth, including two sets of molars, by the time they are 12 or 13 years old.
The third set of molars come in later when people are a little older and, presumably, a little wiser, too. Most people’s wisdom teeth will start to come in in the late teens or early 20s, although some people don’t get their wisdom teeth until later.
At Texas Dental Group, we use x-rays to regularly monitor the development of our patients’ teeth. This way we know when wisdom teeth begin to erupt and if those teeth could cause problems.
To schedule a cleaning and examination with x-rays, call 832-791-1706.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Unfortunately, wisdom teeth often create problems with they erupt. For that reason, the safest option is often to remove wisdom teeth to prevent the possibility of those problems occurring.
Most people’s jaws are not large enough to fit a third set of molars. For this reason, wisdom teeth can push into your existing teeth. They can affect the alignment of your smile. This can cause pain, and it may increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
If you are one of the fortunate people whose wisdom teeth have room to grow correctly, then there won’t be any need to remove them.
The best way to know this is with regular check-ups at a family dentist office like Texas Dental Group.
What Is An Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
Impacted wisdom teeth are wisdom teeth that are not able to come in completely.
A fully impacted wisdom tooth may not break the surface of your gums. A partially impacted wisdom tooth can break the surface, but not the way a normal tooth does.
Regardless, fully and partially impacted teeth can cause a variety of problems.
As mentioned above, your wisdom teeth push into your existing teeth. This may cause crowding, and it can change the alignment of your smile.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause direct damage to the molars closest to it. A wisdom tooth may push into the roots. This can cause toothaches, headaches, earaches, and swelling.
In other cases, cysts can form around impacted wisdom teeth. This can damage teeth, bone, and gum tissue.
Last, but not least, impacted wisdom teeth may increase your risk of infections in the back of your mouth.
If our dentists can help our patients in and around Spring, TX, avoid those problems, then we may recommend removing your wisdom teeth.
So, Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
Considering how many potential problems wisdom teeth can cause, this is a reasonable question. The answer is that we aren’t sure, but scientists do have some hypotheses about why wisdom teeth exist.
Wisdom teeth are considered a vestigial body part, much like your appendix. They may have served a purpose at one time.
Anthropologists have compared our human ancestors’ jaws to modern humans. Our ancestors had larger jaws, so they may have had room for their wisdom teeth to fit.
One idea is that they ate more raw foods, and the extra molar may have provided a bigger area to grind their food.
Another possibility is that our ancestors lost teeth. By having a third set of molars that erupted later in life, this may have been a natural way to replace missing teeth.
Making A Wise Decision
Whether you or someone you love should have your wisdom teeth removed will depend on your specific situation. Our dentists can help you make the right decision by examining your mouth and monitoring any changes that may occur.
Together, we can help you make the right decision about keeping or removing your wisdom teeth.