Person in dental chair with dentist

Wisdom Teeth – What You Need To Know

Excerpt: A wisdom tooth is another name for any one of four third molars, there is a possibility that some or all of these teeth won't develop. Sometimes an individual may never see wisdom teeth as they may not erupt through the gum.

Table of Contents

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

wisdom tooth is another name for any one of four third molars, there is a possibility that some or all of these teeth won’t develop. Sometimes an individual may never see wisdom teeth as they may not erupt through the gum. 

Why do we even have wisdom teeth?

Experts believe wisdom teeth were generally believed to be from a time when humans had rougher diets and needed more molars to digest the food. Our jaws however have evolved faster than our teeth. Since our food has gotten significantly easier to digest, our mouths have gotten smaller quite fast. This is why we tend to grow teeth that don’t fit, our mouths only have room for about 28 teeth, there are 32 teeth that are all trying to fit.
person in oral pain

Why do wisdom teeth cause problems?

Not everyone will have problems with their wisdom teeth, some people are fortunate enough that they will grow in unimpacted and have enough space to do so.
However, here are some of the issues wisdom teeth can cause:
  • Partially growing in – Due to lack of space, they may not fit properly.
  • Growing in wrong – They can grow in facing odd directions
  • Gum disease – Being so far back in your mouth, they are much harder  to clean
These are not the only issues that may occur, but they are some of the most common issues. Just these three problems should give your more than enough reason to get them looked after.
pen pointing at impacted wisdom tooth x-ray

How Do I Know If I Have Wisdom Teeth?

The best way to check if your wisdom teeth are coming in is to make an appointment for a dental x-ray. If you get a panoramic x-ray, it will capture all your teeth and jaws in one shot. This tactic can help your dentist spot your wisdom teeth coming in if they are present.

If you do not want to get an x-ray yet, there are some signs and symptoms that your wisdom teeth are coming in. Some common indications that your wisdom teeth are coming in include:

  • Swelling in your gums
  • Jaw pain
  • Gums bleeding or tenderness
  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide
  • An unusual persistent bad taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath
These symptoms can be an indication that your wisdom teeth have been impacted and are possibly stuck underneath the gumline. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please call Smiles Dental Group immediately, we can potentially stop a smaller problem from becoming a bigger one if there is an issue.

Have concerns about your wisdom teeth?

If you think you may have issues in regards to your wisdom teeth please call us.

Calling us is free!

What Happens When A Wisdom Tooth Is Impacted

  • Damage to other teeth – Overcrowding may cause one or more wisdom teeth to grow up against other teeth. This can cause a bunch of unpleasant issues
  • Cysts – The wisdom tooth may cause a fluid-filled sac to form in the gums, a dentist will need to remove this.
  • Decay – Impacted wisdom teeth have a higher chance to decay than other teeth, this is because they are harder to clean due to their location.
  • Gum disease – Partially impacted wisdom teeth can cause gum disease just like any other tooth.
Impacted wisdom tooth

Can I Prevent Wisdom Teeth From Being Impacted?

There is no way you can prevent wisdom teeth from an impaction, this entirely depends on the shape of your jaw and how much room it has for them to grow. Even a healthy mouth with healthy dental hygiene habits can still have impacted wisdom teeth. The best thing you can do is be aware of them, when or if they come in, you can do this by regularly coming to the dentist for your checkup. The dentist will be able to tell you for sure that they have come in, or had trouble erupting from the gumline.
Once the dentist is aware of the situation they can inform you of the best way to proceed so you can get back to normal.
decayed tooth being pulled
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