As kids, we are taught that losing baby teeth to make room for grown-up teeth is sort of like a rite of passage. Just as your body grows and evolves, so do your mouth and teeth.
One major milestone the majority of people experience is their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that typically try to make their appearance anywhere between the ages of 17 and 21.
Of all the teeth in the mouth, these are generally the ones that can cause the most trouble, giving people reason to have them removed.
When Issues Arise
Unless they come in perfectly positioned and with plenty of room to thrive, wisdom teeth can cause a host of problems for the surrounding teeth and your jaw.
If they’re set to come in at an angle or even sideways (which your dentist can see with a simple x-ray), it’s not going to be smooth sailing. When wisdom teeth are impacted, it means they’re trapped under the gums or in your jaw with little to no room to emerge. This can lead to infection, pain, swelling, stiffness of the jaw, damage to other tooth roots nearby, or even damage to bone support around the teeth.
Additionally, impacted wisdom teeth can cause food to get stuck, thereby providing a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to thrive and continue to cause additional health issues.
If your wisdom teeth look like they can potentially create health issues or even start to cause you pain, your dentist may recommend having them removed.
It’s important to remember that discomfort is common when it comes to teeth emerging and shifting within the mouth, but legitimate pain is not. If you experience this, make an appointment with your dentist right away to see what can be done to alleviate the issue.