Your jaw has been feeling stiff, and it can be painful when you try to move it. Speaking is hard; eating is worse.
You feel like something is irritating your cheek. And your smile is starting to look different. It’s as if the teeth in the back of your mouth are pushing toward the front.
That’s made your oral hygiene more difficult, too. You can’t fit floss between some of your teeth anymore.
What could be causing all of these problems? Your third molars could be. You may know them better as your wisdom teeth.
The good news is that you can avoid all of these issues by having your wisdom teeth removed at Advanced Dental Associates. Our dentist office is located in San Antonio, TX. You can reach us by calling 210-819-5233 or contacting us online.
Why Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems
Admittedly, what we described above is something of a worst-case scenario. A big reason our dentists may recommend removing your wisdom teeth is to avoid these problems.
The primary issue for most people is that their mouths are not big enough for their wisdom teeth to fit. As a result, your wisdom teeth may not be able to come in correctly. That means your teeth are impacted.
Partially impacted wisdom teeth break the surface of your gumline, while fully impacted wisdom teeth remain below the gumline. Either way, you can experience similar problems.
▸ Impacted teeth can cause a flap of gum tissue to form. This flap can turn into a trap for food particles, which can lead to infections and gum disease.
▸ Impacted teeth can come in crooked or in the wrong direction. They may push forward into your second molars. The longer this continues, the more crooked your smile can become.
▸ Wisdom teeth can also develop upside down. If this happens, they can grow into the jaw, which can cause pain in the nerves in your mouth.
▸ Impacted wisdom teeth also can lead to cysts. These growths can damage neighboring teeth and gum tissue as well.
▸ And wisdom teeth can create practical problems. Because they are so far back in your mouth, they can be difficult to clean. This can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
If you come to Advanced Dental Associates, we can examine your mouth and take X-rays to track the development of your wisdom teeth. If we see that they are going to cause problems like the ones we mentioned above, we can remove them so you can avoid many long-term oral health issues.
Call 210-819-5233 if you have any questions about wisdom teeth.
Why Don’t Wisdom Teeth Fit?
Wisdom teeth typically start to erupt in your late teens or early 20s. For a few people, wisdom teeth cause no problems whatsoever. If you one of the lucky ones, you can leave these teeth in place without any worries.
Keep in mind that most people should have their wisdom teeth removed. Experts estimate that between 75 and 80 percent of people are better off without their wisdom teeth.
So why do we have these teeth that are more likely to cause problems than not? That’s unclear. Many biologists consider wisdom tooth to be vestigial parts, like appendixes and tonsils.
From the fossil record, anthropologists know that modern humans do have smaller jaws than our ancestors. This has given rise to a few different hypotheses about why wisdom teeth have lost their usefulness.
One hypothesis suggests that wisdom teeth were like spare tires. Since they came in later than other teeth, they could have served as replacements if that person lost some teeth before then.
Another hypothesis has to do with changes in the human diet. Our ancestors ate raw foods that were harder to break down. The third set of molars would create a larger surface to chew food more effectively.
Our diets today contain softer foods than our ancestors ate. As such, the need for that third set of molars isn’t as great nowadays.
Save Yourself From The Pain
Whatever purpose wisdom teeth once had, we don’t really need them now.
If you or someone in your family is around the age when wisdom teeth may be developing, let our dentists examine your mouth. If everything looks OK, we won’t need to do anything. If there is a problem, we can take care of it in our dentist office in San Antonio.
Be wise about your smile. Call 210-819-5233 or fill out our online form to make an appointment soon at Advanced Dental Associates.