Let’s be honest: the words “wisdom teeth” are enough to make anyone nervous. No one likes talking about uncomfortable topics, but sometimes a little more information and an action plan are worth their weight in gold—especially when it comes to you and your family’s health. So here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that usually grow in when a person is 17-21 years old. Usually, there are four of them, but the exact number varies from person to person. Not everyone has problems when their wisdom teeth come, but many do. What’s the cause of these issues?
Unfortunately, by the time the wisdom teeth decide to make an appearance, many mouths have already reached the conclusion that their tooth hotel is full and cannot accommodate the new arrivals. When the wisdom teeth decide to force their way in anyhow, things get messy: other teeth get pushed around, nerves get pinched, and the wisdom teeth are “impacted.” Impacted wisdom teeth can’t emerge or develop properly, so they are susceptible to infection and decay and may even form cysts.
Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include bad breath, jaw pain and swelling, sensitive or bleeding gums, misalignment of other teeth, and even difficulty opening your mouth. The best way (and essentially the only way) to solve the problem is to evict the troublemaking teeth, i.e., to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
If you are experiencing some of the common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. When you come in for your appointment, you will have the opportunity to consult with your dentist about your symptoms and have some x-rays taken to show exactly what’s going on. Based on the x-rays, your dentist will be able to advise you on the recommended timeframe for getting your wisdom teeth removed.
In some cases, delay brings more complications, so it’s often important to get the troublesome guests out as quickly as possible. In other cases, the status quo will hold steady for a while, so you can wait until a conducive time in your schedule presents itself (summer break, if you’re a high school or college student!).
Our office team will work with you to adapt to your specific situation and ensure that you get the highest quality of care throughout the process!
“I’m having my wisdom teeth out.” Cue sympathetic groans. This is what everyone dreads, right? It’s true that surgery is not a walk in the park, but there are some positive features:
- Guilt-free consumption of milkshakes.
- Lots of attention and sympathy.
- A couple of days on the couch catching up on your Netflix shows.
- Kissing the nagging symptoms goodbye.
Getting the teeth out is no fun, but living with chronic pain and the tooth decay and disease that can result from the impacted teeth is even worse. Recovery is typically a couple of days to a week, and the result is worth it.
Identifying symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth and taking action early can save you and your kids months of pain and accumulated dread. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for professional consultation!