The third set of molars, more commonly referred to as the wisdom teeth, earn their name from being the last of the adult molars to come in. As the final teeth on each side of the lower and upper jaw to erupt, you can expect them to make an appearance during the late teens to early twenties.
Wisdom teeth can cause an array of issues for the patient as it is not uncommon for one, two or all of the wisdom teeth to come in crooked, to only partially emerge, or not be able to erupt at all due to lack of space in the mouth. In many cases, when the wisdom teeth finally erupt it can be very painful for the patient and also lead to tooth overcrowding.
The American Dental Association says that wisdom teeth removed before the age of 20 have less developed roots and, therefore, lead to much fewer complications. For this reason, as part of your routine dental exams, Dr. Grasvik will keep a close eye on the progress of the wisdom teeth to determine whether or not they need removal before they begin to cause issues within the mouth. This is generally between the ages of 16 and 19.
Problems with the Wisdom Teeth
Some of the most common signs or symptoms that there may be a problem with erupting wisdom teeth are pain and discomfort, tooth decay and even gum disease. This is due to the difficulty that comes with properly caring for teeth so far back in the mouth. Additionally, cysts can form below the teeth, which can put pressure on the nerves of the jaw and even lead to bone loss within the jaw.
When the wisdom teeth erupt without an adequate amount of space, they tend to cause a slew of problems with adjacent teeth. This can include damage to the surface of surrounding teeth, bite issue and permanent interference with the alignment of the teeth. The longer that wisdom teeth remain intact, the more chance they have of causing major issues to the alveolar nerve and the jaw itself.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
If Dr. Grasvik suspects issues involving the wisdom teeth, he may refer you to a specialist to establish a treatment plan. If the wisdom teeth have erupted, you can expect removal will be the recommended plan of action. If the wisdom teeth are embedded or impacted into the bone, an oral surgeon will need to remove the teeth or tooth via an incision into the gum. This will be done in sections to limit the amount of bone removal.
Surgery to remove the wisdom teeth can cause some pain and discomfort and often leads to minor swelling, as well as bruising and tenderness. All of the symptoms, including residual bleeding, should subside within a matter of just a few days.
If the wisdom teeth are not removed during the recommended age gap, close monitoring by Dr. Grasvik of the teeth will continue into adulthood to decrease the likelihood of developing dental health issues down the road.
If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain or discomfort, it is recommended that you contact Preferred Dental Care Center at your earliest convenience, so that Dr. Grasvik may diagnose and remedy the situation before complications arise.