Wisdom Teeth: All you need to know

Wisdom teeth demand undisputed attention due to the care they need and the problems they may pose.

Wisdom Teeth: All you need to know
copy link

What are they?

The wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, which erupt around the age of 17-25, in each quadrant- upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left of the mouth. They are referred to as wisdom teeth because of their late timing in showing up, which is the age when a person enters the stage of maturity and is supposed to become wise.Although in most cases one or more wisdom teeth are absent; it is still possible to have more than four of them, the supernumerary teeth. These sets of teeth cause mild pain when they are pushing against the gum to come out. Aligned and fully erupted wisdom teeth are a boon to a healthy mouth as opposed to misaligned, and half-erupted ones which prove to be a curse.

Why are they undesirable?

Faulty Alignment

Misaligned wisdom teeth are the ones that grow against the natural flow of the teeth, they may point towards or away from the tongue, or emerge at an angle that may be in the direction of or away from the second set of molars. This makes cleaning them a difficult task and therefore causes cavity build-up around the area. Sometimes, wisdom teeth are positioned awkwardly, with the crown of the teeth protruding and pressing against the cheeks. The constant friction can lead to the formation of sores and make even ordinary tasks, such as eating, extremely uncomfortable.

Partial Eruption

Because they are the last of the lot at the back of the mouth, many times wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow, and so they end up showing only half of themselves. This partial breakthrough attracts bacteria and becomes a breeding ground for them, causing an infection called Pericoronitis around the tooth. It may also happen that wisdom teeth do not emerge at all. Such teeth become a victim of getting impacted or enclosed within the jaw. This problem can affect and harm adjacent teeth and lead to gum disease. Therefore, if you feel an issue with your wisdom teeth, you should have your dentist examine them. The earlier the problem is identified, the higher the chances that it can be fixed. Impacted wisdom teeth can be excruciatingly painful and, thus, must be extracted immediately. A tooth removal treatment from an experienced dentist can be your best solution. You won't be able to function properly as long as you experience constant throbbing and stabbing pain, so it'd be best to address this dental issue as soon as possible.

What problems do they cause?

Undesirable wisdom teeth like the partially erupted ones or the ones that have erupted near the lower jaw nerve, readily attack the adjacent teeth, jawbone, gums, or nerves, causing pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and tooth decay.According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth become a real problem when they cause the surrounding area to pain or become prone to repeated infections, cysts, tumors, and gum diseases. They may also be the ones responsible for causing tooth decay around them.When the wisdom tooth didn't erupt correctly or if it compresses the adjacent tooth's space, you may not have enough room to floss, and you're most likely aware of the adverse effects this can have on your dental health. Tiny particles of food can linger on the crevices, where they can cause cavities and bad breath. If the wisdom tooth develops beneath the gum, it can erode the roots of adjacent teeth, eventually causing damage.Such situations necessitate the removal of our wise tooth! It is then advised that one should get the tooth removed before its roots get a stronger hold of the jaw.

When can one avoid the extraction of the tooth?

To avoid the extraction of the wisdom tooth, one requires to be sure about its sound condition. This set of teeth needs to make a neat cut-through, be fully grown and functional, and at the same time be clean, pain-free, and disease-free.Sometimes minor alterations in the infected tissues are enough to cure them, but they have to be regularly tested for any unfavorable changes with the help of x-rays and periodic check-ups. It is essential to maintain oral hygiene through healthy practices.