This article, part 2 of 3, provides answers to some of the questions frequently asked about wisdom teeth, their emergence, extraction and post-operative care.
In our previous article post, this dentist in Colorado Springs began answering some of the questions that patients frequently ask about wisdom teeth. We took a look at how the third molars are actually an evolutionary remnant of a time when our diets were substantially different and ended off with an explanation on how you can tell when your wisdom teeth are emerging. In this article, the second installment of a three-part series, the dentist in Colorado Springs will continue to answer more of your pressing questions regarding this special time in you or your child’s physical development, starting with:
Colorado Dentists’ Answer: Due to a lack of space in the jaw, our wisdom teeth can frequently be misaligned, say Colorado dentists. So, instead of emerging perpendicularly (straight down or up) from the jaw bone – like our other teeth – they can come out at an angle, either towards or away from the second molars or even outwards or inwards. The dentist in Colorado Springs has even seen cases where wisdom teeth emerge horizontally from the jaw! While this may not have much of an aesthetic impact upon a patient’s smile – because the wisdom teeth are not that visible – it can cause huge problems to the adjacent teeth, the underlying jaw, nerves and in fact, the entire dental arch. Over-crowding is a classic problem associated with the emergence of wisdom teeth, says the dentist in Colorado Springs.
Another problem to consider is this: when the third molars emerge, they force their way through the overlying soft tissue (the gums). This tissue then splits as the tooth crown works its way out of the jaw bone and this understandably causes quite a bit of pain and discomfort to the patient, says the dentist in Colorado Springs. But more than this, the flap of broken gum on top of the wisdom’s crown offers a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which thrive upon the food that gets easily trapped here. Since the entire area is very sore and tender, it makes it especially hard for patients to keep it clean, says the dentist in Colorado Springs. So, not only do wisdom teeth cause over-crowding, but they also greatly increase a patient’s risk of oral bacterial infection and tooth decay. Abscesses can form in the region too, which are extremely painful and full of toxins dangerous to the general health of the patient.
Question: I’m getting headaches that are radiating from my jaw. What should I do if I suspect that my wisdom teeth are emerging?
Colorado Dentists’ Answer: Considering all the problems that wisdom teeth can potentially cause, it is very important that you seek the professional attention of the dentist in Colorado Springs if you suspect that yours are emerging. A simple X-ray will reveal whether the underlying cause to your problem is wisdom teeth or not. If this is the case, the dentist in Colorado Springs will recommend a course of action based upon whether there is enough space in your jaw to accommodate the extra teeth. If not, a date for their extraction will be set.
For more Colorado dentists’ answers to your frequently asked questions on wisdom teeth, stay tuned for the third and final article in this three-part series.