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All About Wisdom Teeth

By Kenneth Bagby, D.D.S. on April 15, 2017


Wisdom teeth come into the mouth between the age of 17 and 21 (usually—sometimes earlier or later). They are a third set of molars, which seems like a positive, however it’s common for the mouth to have grown in a way that doesn’t accommodate them. This leads to problems, especially problems cleaning the areas around the wisdom teeth. Oftentimes, wisdom teeth come into the mouth so tight to the back of the mouth or the molars next to them, that there is no space to get a toothbrush on it for cleaning, and it’s too tight to floss in the space between the molar next to it.

Wisdom teeth could also be impacted, which means that the teeth are trapped beneath the gums, and there isn’t enough room in the mouth for them to sprout. A few of the problems of wisdom teeth that have sprouted, but sprouted in a mouth without room for them, are bacteria build-ups from food debris (bacteria is the cause of gum disease—gingivitis and the more devastating periodontal disease) also, wisdom teeth that are crowding other teeth can cause damage to those other teeth. If wisdom teeth haven’t fully sprouted from the gums they could then allow bacteria down below the gum line, which, of course, could cause an infection.

Wisdom teeth can also present many other problems in the mouth such as the growth of cysts and tumors, could cause intense pain, damage neighboring teeth, and, as we’ve already talked about, be a vehicle for bacteria to enter the gum line, or to build up and cause gum disease.

Your dentist will be able to determine the best plan of action to monitor or remove wisdom teeth. Oftentimes, if someone is getting braces or other correctional devices, the wisdom teeth will be removed as a part of the corrective plan. As always, it’s important to keep up with a schedule of twice yearly checkups, however if a patient is undergoing changes in the mouth such as the sprouting of wisdom teeth, it may be important to visit the dentist more regularly.

If you or your child is sprouting wisdom teeth, call Dr. Kenneth Bagby today and schedule an appointment.

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