Wisdom teeth are a set of molars that usually emerge in the back of your mouth during your teenage years or during early adulthood.
For some people, wisdom teeth emerge normally without any issues. Meanwhile, others don’t see their wisdom teeth growing at all even after early adulthood. If you happen to fall within these two categories, there’s typically nothing to worry about.
However, for a lot of individuals, the growth wisdom teeth can cause a number of problems during their development. This can range from simple pain and discomfort to serious infections.
To handle such problems properly, it pays to know a little bit about wisdom teeth and the complications that tend to come with them.
In this blog post, we will delve deeper into what wisdom teeth are, the problems they can bring, and the available treatments to ensure optimal oral health.
If you’re currently experiencing problems with your oral health, we recommend that you see a dentist or another medical professional for advice.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, sometimes referred to as third molars, are the last set of molars to grow in the farthest corners of the mouth. The eruption (growth through the gums) of wisdom teeth typically occurs during late adolescence or early adulthood, usually between the ages of 17 and 25.
The growth of wisdom teeth is a natural process, however it doesn’t always happen without issues.The number of wisdom teeth that grow within the mouth also seems to differ from person to person.
Signs That Your Wisdom Teeth are Growing
There are multiple ways to know if your wisdom teeth are beginning to erupt.
First, you can get a dental X-ray, which will let your dentist know if your wisdom teeth are about to erupt. An X-ray will also let your dentist know how a wisdom tooth is positioned within your mouth and if it’s going to cause any problems in the future.
If you’re not able to get an X-ray, a number of physical symptoms may present themselves once your wisdom tooth starts growing through the gyms. You might feel jaw pain or experience swelling near the back of your mouth.
Common Problems Associated Wisdom Teeth
The number one problem that a wisdom tooth causes is pain. Impacted wisdom teeth (teeth that remain underneath the gums) are often accompanied by swelling in the face and inflammation inside the mouth. This problem is usually a result of the limited space within the jaw, leading to the teeth pushing sideways against surrounding tissues instead of growing upwards in a conventional manner.
In some cases, severe pain may even cause disruptions in your daily routine. It may cause issues with sleeping or eating.
- Crowding Teeth
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, it may begin to push on the rest of your teeth as it tries to grow. This can disrupt your teeth alignment, causing crowding and further pain.
Because of the pressure that an impacted tooth puts on adjacent teeth, it may also lead to further damage such as fractures and/or increased tooth sensitivity. This can compromise the overall health of your teeth and may require additional dental care.
Impacted wisdom teeth can also create pockets within your mouth where bacteria can thrive and spread. This can result in various infections that may result in pain, swelling, and an overall decline in oral health.
Such infections can also contribute to bad breath due to the accumulation of bacteria and food particles in the areas around the partially erupted wisdom tooth.
- Fever in Serious Cases
In severe cases of infection or inflammation, individuals may also experience fever as the body’s natural response to combat the underlying issue. This is why it’s important to address impacted wisdom teeth as soon as possible.
If you’re experiencing severe fevers or indeed any type of symptom that significantly affects your day-to-day, we highly recommend that you see your dentist or a medical professional as soon as possible.
Types of Treatment
It’s important to remember that the most effective treatment will differ from patient to patient. To get the best results and to avoid issues in the future, it’s absolutely crucial that you consult your dentist before committing to a certain type of treatment.
- Wisdom Tooth Removals
If your wisdom teeth continue to cause issues, extraction may be recommended. Wisdom tooth removal is a common dental procedure that most dental clinics offer. If such operations make you anxious, it’s important to talk to your dentist about it to see what can be done to make the process easier for you. In recent years, modern technology has made wisdom tooth removal a relatively straightforward process with minimal discomfort.
- Improved Oral Hygiene
Practicing good oral hygiene is also crucial in preventing issues related to wisdom teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings can help maintain optimal oral health and reduce the risk of infections.
Orthodontic treatment, such as braces, may be recommended to address issues like crowding. This can help restore proper alignment and prevent long-term dental problems.
What Triggers Wisdom Teeth to Grow?
The exact triggers for the growth of wisdom teeth are still not fully understood. However, it is believed to be a combination of genetic factors and evolutionary changes in the human diet.
Our ancestors likely had larger jaws, making it easier for wisdom teeth to emerge without causing issues. As diets have evolved over time, the size of the human jaw has decreased, leading to less space for the proper eruption of wisdom teeth.
In short, being proactive is the best way to avoid and manage issues regarding wisdom teeth. Regular dental check-ups, proper oral hygiene practices, and timely interventioncan contribute to a healthier and more comfortable experience.
If you’re experiencing any discomfort or suspect problems with your wisdom teeth,consult your dentist for personalised guidance and appropriate treatment.