570 University Ave., Fairbanks, AK 99709
Although wisdom teeth may not make you any wiser, if they are impacted or only partially erupted, they may cause you great pain.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of four molar teeth at the back of your mouth, behind your existing set of molars, which erupt when you’re around 18 to 25 years old. As a visible sign of approaching adulthood, these teeth were named from the implication of a more mature outlook on life.
Modern dental care has made wisdom teeth obsolete. When tooth loss and erosion was normal, having a third set of molars grow to replace the missing teeth was beneficial. Better dental care means keeping your teeth, leaving little room for the new set.
Without sufficient room to grow in straight, wisdom teeth may surface crooked, push sideways through tender gum tissue, or fail to erupt completely from your gums.
Crowding: As your wisdom teeth arrive, they may change your dentition, often causing your teeth to become crowded. Because crowded teeth are more difficult to keep clean, you are more susceptible to tooth decay and gum infection.
Bite Changes: As your bite profile changes, you may have trouble chewing properly
Discomfort: Incomplete eruption leaves pockets around new wisdom teeth that can be havens for infectious bacteria. Teeth that grow sideways can be painfully rough against your tongue or inner cheek.
Cosmetic: Aside from the health reasons to slate wisdom teeth for removal, cosmetic reasons also enter into the decision to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Fairbanks AK. Although your wisdom teeth are too far back in your jaw to be seen by anyone but your Fairbanks dentist, the changes they cause can be readily visible. Growing wisdom teeth slowly jostle other teeth out of position, like pushy people at the back of a crowded elevator, causing misalignment in your front teeth. A beautiful smile starts all the way at the back of your mouth. Having crowded wisdom teeth removed can keep the rest of your teeth straight and healthy.
For some individuals, there is so little room for wisdom teeth to grow that the new teeth never manage to breach the gumline. Teeth that remain submerged beneath your gums are considered impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth may cause pressure and pain as the growing tooth presses on the nerves. Although you might not notice discomfort from your impacted teeth, below the surface of your gums, the new wisdom teeth still press against your existing teeth, altering your bite and creating crowding problems.
While fully impacted wisdom teeth never surface above the gums, partially-impacted teeth crest the gumline only slightly, leaving most of the tooth hidden within the bone and soft tissue of your jaw. When you chew, food particles make their way into the pocket of tissue surrounding the partially erupted tooth. Brushing and flossing can’t reach into those pockets and clean them thoroughly, so they become reservoirs for bacteria.
X-rays remain the diagnostic tool of choice for impacted wisdom teeth. If the X-rays reveal your wisdom teeth growing in undesired ways, you may make an appointment for extraction. Once you’ve scheduled the removal of impacted or otherwise problematic wisdom teeth, your Fairbanks dentist will provide you a list of recommended practices following the removal procedure. Your dentist in Fairbanks AK can provide patient-specific advice on recovery time based on your individual case. Plan for some down time following the removal procedure; even a simple extraction may leave you uncomfortable for a short time. It’s a small price to pay for a lifetime of better dental health.
Fortunately, your Fairbanks dentist, who has taken such good care of your teeth that you have no need (or room) for wisdom teeth, can schedule an extraction, when necessary. Contact Universal Dental Clinic today to schedule your appointment.