While their name may imply greater knowledge, wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars all the way in the back of your mouth, don’t provide dental patients with any advantages. Instead, as Hamilton-area dentist Dr. Karen Ho explains, wisdom teeth earned their common name because they erupt when a person is older and wiser, often in their late teens or early twenties, many years after the other sets of molars.
Sometimes wisdom teeth erupt and the patient barely notices. The patient may feel some pressure as the teeth come in, but the molars themselves are healthy, complete, and positioned correctly. When the wisdom teeth are healthy and properly aligned, they can be cared for properly with regular brushing and flossing. Additionally, they don’t pose any harm to your remaining teeth.
While healthy, intact, straight wisdom teeth are what we all hope for, sometimes the patient’s mouth doesn’t have room for another set of molars. When this is the case, the wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow properly and can lead to dental problems or pain. Common problems include the teeth growing at a different angle, or only erupting halfway through the gum line, or staying completely impacted below the gum line.
Dr. Ho and her team at Dentistry on Parkdale in Hamilton understand that wisdom teeth removal can cause even the bravest of patients to have some anxiety. She assures patients that extractions are safe and, with the proper anesthesia, pain-free. In fact, wisdom teeth that are through the gums usually need only a simple extraction using local anesthetic. If the teeth remain below the gum line, sedation will be used to ensure patient’s comfort.
Dr. Ho cautions that wisdom teeth are usually easier to remove when they are smaller. As the teeth grow, they can begin to affect other teeth, can turn and grow horizontally, or cause other problems within your mouth. That’s why it is important to have x-rays taken of your mouth so that you know if you have wisdom teeth that may cause you potential problems in the future.
If you’ve been having pain in your back molars or jaw, it could be from a troubled wisdom tooth. To find out, call the Dentistry on Parkdale office today to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Karen Ho of Dentistry on Parkdale in Hamilton, ON, explains how your wisdom teeth can cause damage to the mouth and why removal may be necessary.