Wisdom teeth also known as third molars are the last teeth to erupt. They may become a problem for you as they grow and develop in each corner of your mouth. Problems often develop gradually since development normally spans several years. Nevertheless, these gradual changes can cause sudden and severe pain. As a Fairhope dentist we feel its important for you to understand why such things can happen may help you to deal with these problems, or better still, to encourage you to take preventive measures before they occur.
The jawbone grows to approximately its adult size by your late teens. Unfortunately, that size is often too small to hold developing wisdom teeth. This happens because our jaws are smaller than those of early humans who needed large jaws and more teeth for their tougher diet.
When there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth, they may become impacted, or partially trapped in the jawbone and gums. The crown, or top of the tooth, may erupt, or just break through the gum, or it may remain completely within the bone. The roots can grow in unusual directions and may cause a variety of problems in your mouth and with your sinus cavity or the nerve in your lower jaw. The primary preventive measure for wisdom teeth is removal, preferably at an early stage.
Not everyone has problems with their wisdom teeth. Factors that determine whether you will have problems include the size of your jaw and how your wisdom teeth grow in. There may be pain and swelling, or you may have no symptoms at all even though the other teeth in your mouth may be at risk of damage. In addition to actual pain, common problems caused by wisdom teeth can include gum disease, crowding, decay, poor position, and cysts.
Since it is not practical for most people to evaluate how their wisdom teeth are developing, the best approach is to visit your Fairhope dentist for an evaluation. Our Fairhope dentist, Dr. Greer, will review your dental history, take dental x-rays, and perform an examination to determine the general health of your mouth and the condition of your wisdom teeth. If a problem is detected, the dentist may recommend surgery to remove them and eliminate or avoid any unpleasant symptoms. Early removal is best for most patients as it usually helps to avoid more serious problems later on. If you are having problems with your wisdom teeth please do not hesitate to call us at SweetWater Dentistry 251-550-7770