When you hear “wisdom teeth,” the next word queued up in your brain is likely “removal,” and for good reason! The wisdom teeth are the four, back-most molars in the mouth and, as you well know, oftentimes they need to be removed for oral hygiene’s sake. Today, we’re going to learn all about these later-in-life teeth and how to know when to visit your Valencia dentist to discuss having your wisdom teeth removed.
Why "Wisdom Teeth?"
Although there are some differing opinions as to why they’re called "wisdom teeth," there’s one universally accepted answer: Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop within the mouth and they tend to develop well into adulthood after we’re (supposedly) wiser than ever! Unfortunately, the typical growth pattern of wisdom teeth doesn’t always seem so wise and can lead to complications.
What Happens if I Ignore My Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth have a funny way of growing in crookedly. When these teeth bump up against your other molars, their growth pattern gets stunted and they become what’s known as “impacted.” As a result, wisdom teeth often partially erupt from the gums or don’t erupt at all—either one of these results can cause problems:
Partial Eruption - A partially erupted wisdom tooth is prone to developing a bacteria condition called perioncitis. This ailment is the inflammation of soft tissues surrounding the crown of the partially erupted tooth and can lead to extreme sensitivity and pain. These irritated tissues are prone to bacterial infection, which be dangerous to overall health.
Non-Eruption – Wisdom teeth that never erupt from the surface of the gums can promote the growth of cysts, which can cause significant damage to gum tissues and bones.
How Do I Know When to Talk to My Valencia Dentist?
- Pain – The first symptom is soreness or pain in the back of the jaw. Any pain in the mouth or jaw area should be addressed quickly by a Valencia dentist. If you’ve never had your wisdom teeth removed, you’re an adult, and you’re experiencing soreness, then chances are that wisdom teeth are the source.
- Sinus Issues – If you develop sudden sinus pain, pressure, or congestion, this may be the result of impacted wisdom teeth. See your dentist.
- Headaches – Consistent, dull pain in the jaw is known to cause headaches. If you’re feeling a combination of soreness near your molars and more frequent headaches, consult your dentist.
- Bad Breath – Strangely enough, wisdom teeth are partially erupted, the result can be bad breath. The pockets created in the gums by the wisdom teeth are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria, which cause bad breath.
If you have any questions, your Valencia dentist is just a phone call away! Always err on the side of caution and never ignore mouth pain. If you think your wisdom teeth need to be looked at, call us today!