Chances are either you or someone you know has had some problems with their wisdom teeth. Painful gums, jaws and cheeks can occur around the area where the tooth is erupting and unfortunately reaching back there to clean is nearly impossible. It is so tight at the back of our mouths that sometimes our wisdom teeth truly have nowhere to go. They get stuck, or impacted.
Well, maybe modern day dentists are doing their job a little too well! Our ancestors rarely made it to adulthood without losing several adult teeth. The first permanent molars come into our mouths when we are around 6. Often this tooth and others would have been lost to decay or disease by the time a person reached 18, which is the average time for wisdom teeth to erupt. If our six year old molars were gone or decaying, a brand new tooth pushing its way in might possibly fit. Nowadays, the squeeze just doesn’t work. Not only have advances in modern dentistry kept our first molars healthy and solid, often people have had orthodontics and have had their jaws perfectly aligned and adjusted. A new molar pushing permanent teeth out of position or causing gum infections is just not healthy. Many wisdom teeth can end up forming cysts or abscesses and can even erode the roots of the healthy adjacent teeth.
Modern dentistry once more comes to our rescue! Wisdom teeth whether they are coming into our mouths or impacted (still in the bone) are commonly and easily removed. Often the procedure can be done at your family dentist’s office. A skilled dentist will use a combination of pain and comfort management techniques to quickly remove the unneeded teeth and restore your mouth to optimal health. Cutting edge practices even utilize lasers as part of tissue healing!
If you are experiencing any discomfort or bleeding behind your molars, make sure you tell your dentist. With x-rays and an oral exam they can assess the condition of your wisdom teeth. If you are told they need to come out, relax! You will still be smart when they are gone!