They grow in – usually between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five – and for many people they never even break the surface. Wisdom teeth are a big source of stress for a large portion of the population. For those who suffer impacted teeth, the discomfort can become unbearable if not pulled soon enough and even for those who see them grow all the way in, there can be another source of concern.
Aside from those who are fortunate enough to never develop the third set of molars, those who have the teeth grow in straight and unhindered are likely considered the luckiest among us. After all, it certainly is a better fate than having to be put under anesthesia so the orthodontist or dentist in Austin can go beneath the gum line to dig the teeth out. Yet, having the wisdom teeth in place doesn’t guarantee that the dental office trip is avoided. Many patients are now asking, ‘Is it okay to keep my wisdom teeth?’
There is reason for that question to be asked. If the teeth only partially grew in, then there is risk that a pocket could open between the gum and the tooth, inviting bacteria to work its evil magic. This can result in infection, gum disease, tooth decay, or worse. In fact, bacteria that take root under the gum can spread to other areas of the body and have even been linked to the developing of heart disease.
For those whose teeth did grow in properly, the cause of worry stems from their deep placement in the mouth. Wisdom teeth, which are the furthest from the front of the mouth, are also the toughest to keep clean. There is often little space around the tooth for the brush to get in and get the surface clean. Failing to reach those areas can, once again, allow the pesky bacteria to build-up and spread. Many of the same fears are realized. The person has a drastically increased risk of gingivitis and periodontitis, among other complications. Even an Austin mercury free dentist will rarely fill a cavity that has formed in a wisdom tooth. The recommendation is almost always to pull the tooth.
If you are unsure if you should keep your wisdom teeth or are unsure if you even have any, it is a good idea to schedule a dental visit. In the same office as you would have a regular cleaning, a filling, or an Austin teeth whitening procedure done, you can receive the x-ray examination that will give a better picture of tooth placement. This is how the dentist will determine whether or not you have three, four, or even five wisdom teeth. It might also be required to ensure the teeth have fully erupted through the gum and have grown in correctly.
At that point, he or she will give a recommendation of whether or not your teeth are being cleaned well enough and whether or not they present increased risk of oral complications. It will be you and your dentist (or orthodontist) who will make the final decision on whether or not the teeth should be extracted.