Here’s some handy information for you to better understand your wisdom teeth and help determine if it’s time to say goodbye to them.
What are wisdom teeth for?
Wisdom teeth are the teeth at the very end of your jaw line. Most people have a total of four wisdom teeth, one on each quadrant of their mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left). Only 10% of people do not develop their wisdom teeth at all.
Your wisdom teeth usually start to develop around your 10th birthday and become a concern for people around the age of 16-25.
Wisdom teeth were once used by our ancestors for chewing on hard foods, such as leaves and meat. With evolution and the use of forks and knives, many of us don’t need the extra chewing power anymore, making our wisdom teeth more or less useless to us.
Although there is no harm in keeping your wisdom teeth, the problem arises if your wisdom teeth do not grow in alignment with the rest of your teeth. That can then cause problems for your gums, teeth and your overall oral health.
How can you tell if it’s time to have your wisdom teeth extracted?
Misaligned wisdom teeth can cause bacteria to get into your gums, damaging your overall oral health. Here are some ways to tell if you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted:
– Pain in the back of your mouth, swelling and jaw stiffness—if your wisdom teeth are not properly aligned, they may rub against your other teeth, causing intense pain, swelling and jaw stiffness.
– Tooth decay—when your wisdom teeth break through your gum line, your tooth may be more prone to tooth decay because of the bacteria entering into your gums.
– Red and swollen gums—wisdom teeth may be awkwardly positioned, making them harder to brush and floss. As a result, you may develop red and swollen gums due to bacterial growth.
The best way to check if your wisdom teeth need to be extracted is through x-rays. By looking at an x-ray, your dentist can check the progress and alignment of your wisdom teeth. Regular dentist check-ups in your teens and 20’s are important to keep tabs on your wisdom teeth’s growth.
Wisdom tooth extraction is as easy as 123!
At any 123Dentist location, we use aesthetic treatments to make sure you are as comfortable as possible during your wisdom teeth extraction.
Any one of our dentists would be happy to sit with you and explain the procedure used to extract wisdom teeth as well as answer any questions you have.
Visit a 123Dentist office today to assess the growth and alignment of your wisdom teeth!