Have you ever felt like you were teething as an adult? It was probably in the back of your mouth, and the swelling you felt there was really a tooth trying to erupt. This is one of a few known wisdom teeth symptoms, and these four teeth are the final set of molars to erupt in the adult mouth.
Adults usually have third molars, otherwise known as wisdom teeth, that come in anywhere after the age of about 18. And according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are a number of side-effects that would deem it necessary for the removal of these teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth often cause the greatest discomfort, and ultimately do harm to your oral health as well.
The most common conditions include :
- Damage to adjacent teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay may set in as well, particularly if there is poor access to fill a tooth.
Reasons for Extraction
Unfortunately, people experience problems with their wisdom teeth all the time. Sometimes they don’t have enough room to erupt, causing them to become impacted. Instead of the tooth coming in straight, in this case, it can lie on its side and press up against the tooth in front of it. This situation can cause crowding, improper bite alignment and other problems as well.
A partially erupted wisdom tooth may also produce a condition known as pericoronitis, an infection wherein bacteria from food, plaque and other debris become trapped in between the space of the impacted tooth and the gum. Moreover, people who have undergone orthodontia have a greater lack of space for wisdom teeth to come in – another situation that would deem it ideal for removal.
Making the Decision
If these teeth do not offer any significant complications, they can remain untouched. But if the wisdom teeth are indeed problematic, it’s best to have them taken out. Make sure to visit your dentist so that he or she can check for signs that your wisdom teeth are starting to come through and decide if it’s in your best interest to keep or extract them. You will need to receive an X-ray to see how the teeth are coming in and if they might cause any problems in the future.
If your wisdom teeth symptoms indicate they need to be extracted, the procedure is usually performed by an oral surgeon or dentist. Although it might just involve local anesthesia, you may also be under general sedation, depending on the complexity of your treatment. Dentists usually recommend having wisdom teeth extracted at a younger age because the roots of these teeth are not fully developed, making for an easier extraction. Therefore, the removal of the four wisdom teeth at once doesn’t interfere with one’s ability to properly bite, eat or talk.
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