Your mouth goes through many changes in your lifetime. One dental milestone is the appearance of your wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth are the third molars that commonly come in around the ages of 17 to 21. These extra molars can be beneficial for chewing when they’re healthy and they come in at the right position, but problems can arise when a wisdom tooth doesn’t have enough space to come in or is in the wrong position.
When your dentist says your wisdom teeth are impacted that means they’re trapped in the jaw or under the gum. When wisdom teeth are poorly positioned, food may be trapped and give bacteria a place to grow. It can also be difficult to get all the way back to floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them.
Problematic wisdom tooth can lead to infection and may cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in your jaw. It can damage the roots of nearby teeth or destroy bone support around the teeth.
Your dentist or specialist may suggest having the tooth removed if problems occur or if it appears likely that they will cause problems. Your dentist may also recommend removal of wisdom teeth as a part of treatment for braces, gum disease, or other dental care.
Keep in mind it’s normal to have a little discomfort when your wisdom teeth appear, but if you have pain you should see your dentist immediately.
Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day can help keep your mouth healthy, but it’s also important to visit your dentist regularly to evaluate not just your wisdom teeth but your overall dental health.