It almost seems like a rite of passage, doesn’t it? Having a parent or loved one drive you to the dentist to have your wisdom teeth removed.
You’re lucky if you went through the procedure before camera phones became available to catch every giggle-inducing moment. Hilarious footage of family members after their wisdom tooth removals have become viral video gold.
But why do so many people have to have their wisdom teeth removed in the first place? What’s so bad about your wisdom teeth that you have to “kick them to the curb” soon after they curl up against your back teeth and call it home?
What Makes Wisdom Teeth Different?
Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last teeth to develop in your mouth. In some cases, they may never come in at all. Typically, wisdom teeth come in between the ages of 17 and 25.
Unfortunately, wisdom teeth often cause problems whenever they decide to show up or in some cases before they even poke through your gums, which is bad news for your mouth.
Why Do I Have To Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
At Overmeyer Family Dental, we can take care of your wisdom teeth in our office, which saves you the trouble of having to see someone else at a different location.
X-rays taken in our office will allow us to get a better look at your wisdom teeth to determine if there’s a problem that can be resolved by removing them.
We’ve highlighted the most common reasons dentists decide wisdom teeth removal is the way to go. Keep in mind, in many cases we will be able to spot a potential issue before they cause a problem.
To understand why wisdom teeth become impacted in the first place, we have to go back in time. Before we began cooking our food, humans mostly ate nuts, plants, and seeds. Wisdom teeth were used to grind those foods. It’s widely believed by evolutionists that we had larger jaws back then to accommodate the extra chewing, which means there was plenty of room for those third molars. Over time, our diets changed and our jaws got smaller, which means there’s now less room for those third molars.
If your wisdom teeth become impacted, it means they don’t have enough room to come in properly and are stuck in your gums. If your wisdom teeth become trapped in your gums or even your jawbone, it can become uncomfortable and even painful for you.
Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause abscesses, cavities, cysts, gum disease, and damage to nearby teeth, which is why it’s important to consider wisdom teeth removal before you experience these severe, painful problems.
If the tissue around a wisdom tooth becomes infected, it’s called pericoronitis. Symptoms of pericoronitis include:
- Painful, swollen gums around the affected tooth
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Discharge from the area
More serious but less common symptoms include swollen lymph nodes under your chin, swelling on that side of your face, and jaw muscle spasms.
To help prevent infection, we recommend thoroughly brushing and flossing the area, even before your wisdom tooth has erupted. Doing so will prevent a buildup of food particles and bacteria.
Sometimes wisdom teeth are just inconvenient. They may be crowding your other teeth and affecting alignment or they may feel uncomfortable. In some cases, you may not experience any serious symptoms warranting an extraction, other than simple inconvenience. That’s okay!
However, some people don’t experience any problems with their wisdom teeth. If you’re not having any trouble, we may not have to remove your wisdom teeth at all.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
We will keep a close eye on your wisdom teeth as you come in for regular teeth cleanings. However, it’s important to stay on top of your oral health by paying close attention to anything that just doesn’t feel right. We want to take care of you before you become too uncomfortable.
We are more than happy to take a look at your teeth to determine what steps should be taken moving forward. To schedule an appointment, call Overmeyer Family Dental in Orlando, FL at (407) 603-3839 or fill out our online form.