Our teeth evolve as we grow older. Wisdom teeth can also grow between our teenage and early adulthood. Having a wisdom tooth can either be a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, a wisdom tooth can help chew your food better. But it can also affect your daily life depending on its growth.
If you experience the latter, you can find an oral surgeon in Utah or elsewhere near you. What is a wisdom tooth, anyway? How can it impact our oral health? Should you have it removed or let it be? Here are some things you need to know about wisdom teeth.
What is the wisdom tooth?
Wisdom teeth refer to the third set of molars that pop out around teenage years or in early adult age. As mentioned, wisdom teeth can either be a blessing or a curse. It depends on the teeth’s growth and alignment.
If it grows in the right position, wisdom teeth can help improve your chewing. Otherwise, it can cause pain which may need removing it surgically. A poorly aligned wisdom tooth may lodge itself within the gums.
Some have impacted wisdom tooth. This means the tooth partially erupts through the gums, while the rest of the tooth is embedded inside the gums. In such cases, bacteria and food remnants can stick through the gaps and cause an infection.
It may also be positioned in different positions other than vertically. In effect, it can cause pain and damage to the other teeth. Worse, the pain can extend up to the jawbone and cause swelling and stiffness.
Flossing and brushing can be difficult due to the tooth’s unusual position. As a result, poorly aligned wisdom tooth can result in gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. If you think wisdom tooth affects your daily life, it may be wise to consult a dentist immediately.
Should you keep it or have it removed?
As mentioned, it depends on the wisdom tooth’s growth. If it grew and positioned as the adjacent teeth, it should not cause any problems at all. In fact, a properly aligned wisdom tooth can even improve your oral health.
Otherwise, your wisdom tooth can cause various oral health problems, including tooth decay. The risks can be higher if you have an impacted wisdom tooth. This means that part of your teeth is trapped under your gums and may cause swelling and pain.
Your dentist may be most likely to recommend wisdom teeth if it’s impacted. More so, oral surgery can be necessary if it causes you excruciating pain. The pain may even radiate to your jaw and ears. Worse, the infection caused by the wisdom tooth may form cysts that can wreak havoc on your oral health.
Still, it is important to apply proper oral care. This includes:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day or after every meal
- Using floss to dislodge stuck food remnants between your teeth
- Using alcohol-free mouthwash for a sting-free feeling
- Visiting your dentist every six months for regular checkups
Before undergoing wisdom tooth removal, it is important to consult a dentist or an oral surgeon. You should understand first what you can expect during this procedure.
You could also choose not to remove your wisdom tooth as long as there is no pain involved. But you can still be at risk of having future health problems involving your wisdom tooth.