Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come up in the mouth at the back of the mouth. They mostly develop when you are an adult (17-25years), and most people have four of them (two at the upper and two at the lower jaw). However, they can cause other dental problems in some people. They cause problems when they don’t have enough room to grow naturally; therefore, they become impacted. They may not cause any immediate problem as they grow, but with time, impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain or damage the other teeth due to the overcrowding. Since wisdom teeth are further into the mouth, they are hard to clean, encouraging bacteria growth leading to cavities, tooth decay, or gum disease.
While some people experience normal growth of wisdom teeth without any significant problem, others experience impacted wisdom teeth that require dental intervention. You know yours is problematic if you experience:
- Jaw pain.
- Swelling around the jaw.
- Red, swollen or painful gums.
- Tenderness of the gums resulting in bleeding gums.
- Mouth opening difficulties.
- Bad breath.
If you experience any pain associated with your wisdom teeth, you should immediately look for a facility that offers both cosmetic dental and orthodontic services. Impacted wisdom teeth should be treated early enough because they cause more serious dental problems that can be difficult to treat when they grow.
The treatment options
When you have wisdom teeth problems, in most cases, the solution is to remove them, which usually doesn’t impact the other teeth. Removing them when they are in the initial stages of growth is more manageable than when fully grown and helps prevent future problems. Removal is necessary when:
- Your wisdom teeth cause you pain.
- Congest the sinus causing you sinus problems.
- Crowd the other teeth causing teeth misalignment.
- When they cause jaw damage, such as cysts’ development that destroys the jawbone, teeth, and nerves.
- Damage your other teeth, causing biting difficulties.
- When they decay due to exposure to bacteria as they are challenging to clean.
- Cause gum disease.
However, another treatment option for wisdom teeth is undergoing a cosmetic dentistry procedure known as coronectomy. The coronectomy process generally involves removing the dental crown but leaving the root intact inside the jaw. But this procedure works only if the molar root is infected or when the tooth is horizontally impacted with the Inferior Alveolar Nerve (IAN). When the tooth has a nerve complication since wisdom teeth in the low jaw press against the nerves necessary for the feel in your mouth, removal could cause nerve damage. Such nerve damage can lead to eating, speaking, and general feeling/sensation problems in your mouth, which are permanent. In that case, a coronectomy is a suitable option than a wisdom tooth extraction.
All in all, a dentist is the only one who is capable of determining the most suitable option depending on your teeth. If your doctor suggests removing your wisdom teeth even if they don’t hurt, he/she may be trying to prevent a future problem. You can ask questions and enquire if cosmetic dentistry is a viable option.
While many people experience wisdom teeth problems at home without knowing they can seek medical treatments, dentists should create more awareness. As a dentist, showing off your dental work on TikTok, the new internet sensation, and other digital platforms can play a crucial role in spreading dental awareness while marketing your dental practice.