Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to develop in the back of the mouth. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25.
However, these teeth can cause several problems if they do not develop correctly or if there is not enough room in the jaw to accommodate them.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what wisdom teeth are, the common problems they can cause, and when it’s best to have them removed.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to develop in the back of the mouth. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25 and are located at the back of the jaw, behind the second molars.
Moreover, they can develop as fully erupted teeth, partially erupted teeth, or remain impacted (unable to grow correctly) beneath the gums. Some people may never develop wisdom teeth at all, whereas others may develop all four.
Common Problems with Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth can cause several problems if they do not develop properly. Some problems include the following:
- Crowding –Wisdom teeth can push the other teeth out of position, causing crowding and misalignment. This can lead to difficulty cleaning the teeth and an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Impacted Wisdom Teeth –Wisdom teeth that do not have enough room to grow properly can become impacted, meaning they are trapped beneath the gums. This can cause pain, swelling, and infection. These teeth can also cause the development of cysts or tumors in the jaw.
- Gum Disease –Partially erupted or impacted wisdom teeth can trap food and bacteria, making them more susceptible to gum disease. This can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and gum infections.
When to Remove Wisdom Teeth
If your wisdom teeth are causing problems, it may be necessary to have them removed. But when should you have them removed?
The best time to remove wisdom teeth is usually when they first begin to cause problems, such as pain or swelling. This is usually between the ages of 17 and 25 when the roots of the teeth are not fully developed, and the procedure is less complex.
However, it’s important to note that even if wisdom teeth are not causing immediate problems, it may still be recommended to have them removed if there is a high risk of them causing problems in the future.
It’s best to consult an oral surgeon or your dentist to determine if your wisdom teeth need to be removed and to discuss any possible risks or concerns.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction: Recovery and Aftercare
After wisdom teeth extraction, it’s essential to take proper care to ensure a smooth recovery. This may include taking prescribed pain medication, avoiding solid foods for a certain period, and not smoking or using straws to prevent dry sockets.
Proper aftercare and following the surgeon’s instructions can help reduce pain and swelling and speed up the healing process. It can also decrease the likelihood of future dental conditions.
Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to develop in the back of the mouth and can cause some problems if they do not develop properly. So, it’s best to remove them when they begin to cause problems or if there’s a high risk of them causing problems in the future.
Consulting with a dentist or oral surgeon is crucial to determine if wisdom teeth removal is necessary and to discuss any possible risks or concerns. Plus, proper aftercare and following the surgeon’s instructions can help reduce pain and swelling and speed up the healing process.