About the age you start taking the reins in your own life, between 17 and 25, you may discover a third set of molars erupting in the back of your jaw. Called “wisdom teeth,” these molars may come in and fit well beside your other teeth. For many people, however, they may remain under the gum line, or they may partially erupt. They may even come in “sideways,” pressing against other teeth.

woman-in-dentist-chair

Problems caused by wisdom teeth
These extra teeth are not necessary for chewing or keeping the other teeth aligned. If Dr. Rick of Scottsdale, AZ, determines they are going to cause trouble, he may recommend they be extracted. Wisdom teeth can cause problems such as:

    • Damage to other teeth, as the new teeth push sideways on the others.
    • Jaw damage, such as cysts forming around the new teeth, with possible jaw bone and nerve damage in the future.
    • Sinus problems, as the teeth impact sinus areas causing pressure, congestion and pain.
    • Gum inflammation because the area around the new teeth can be hard to reach and clean effectively.
    • Additional cavities because swollen gums can create pockets between teeth that give space for bacteria to grow near the teeth.
    • Disrupted alignment that negates the work of braces, bridges, crowns, partial dentures and other kinds of previous dental work.

Sometimes the wisdom teeth cause no pain at first or for years. That does not mean the wisdom teeth will always be trouble free, however. Dr. Rick will examine the teeth to determine whether the wisdom teeth can safely remain in place or should be removed.

The earlier, the easier for extracting wisdom teeth
You’ve probably heard people usually have their wisdom teeth extracted at fairly young ages. That is true, and for good reason: The extraction is much easier and less complicated when the wisdom teeth are still “young.” If Dr. Rick suggests extraction of the wisdom teeth to prevent serious problems, then extracting the teeth sooner is usually a good plan. Younger people find the extraction less troublesome, and they normally recover fairly quickly. But wisdom teeth can be extracted at any age, and advances in sedation dentistry and extraction technology make the procedure much easier and safer than in the past.

Next time you visit Dr. Rick Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ, for a routine cleaning or cosmetic dentistry treatment, be smart: ask about the options for your wisdom teeth. Get the facts now – avoid painful surprises later!