Between the ages of 17 and 25, many people get a third set of molars. Called “wisdom teeth,” these teeth are supposed to emerge just in back of the other molars. But that doesn’t always happen. An impacted tooth is one that fails to erupt through the gums. Dr. E. Scott Saltzman sees the problems that impacted wisdom teeth create for young adults in the Triangle. Often this happens because the jaw is too small to fit those four extra teeth. Dental x-rays will reveal whether wisdom teeth will be a problem as these patients enter adulthood.
- Scott Saltzman DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry details five issues related to wisdom teeth:
- Decay: Wisdom teeth that only partially erupt through the gums are difficult to clean and more at risk for decay. It’s important to practice good dental hygiene at home and keep regular cleaning appointments to prevent decay.
- Damage to nearby teeth: Wisdom teeth often grow at odd angles, pushing into adjacent molars and causing crowding and misalignment. Infection can result. Orthodontic treatment may be required to straighten the affected teeth.
- Gum disease risk: Any part of the mouth that is hard to keep clean is a breeding ground for bacteria that causes gum disease. With wisdom teeth sitting at the very back of the mouth, they are difficult to reach. A water flosser will help keep them clean.
- Removal: Oral surgeons can remove impacted wisdom teeth before they begin growing at odd angles and affecting other teeth. Patients concerned about impacted wisdom teeth should consult with Dr. Saltzman about the advisability of having them removed.
- Infection symptoms: Impacted wisdom teeth can become infected. Signs of such an infection include red or swollen gums, jaw pain, swelling around the jaw and difficulty opening the mouth. A dental professional should be consulted promptly if these symptoms are present.
Older teens and young adults should ask Dr. Saltzman about whether their wisdom teeth are likely to cause problems as they age. If you are overdue for a regular cleaning or complete exam, call the office of E. Scott Saltzman DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today to make an appointment.
This informative post about dental health and wisdom teeth is brought to you by Saltzman Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Cary NC. Please call us for an appointment today.
919 380 9311
202 Town Village Drive
Cary, NC 27513
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The material contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice in any manner or form. Always consult a dentist, doctor or licensed medical professional with any questions.
Photo: Saltzman Family and Cosmetic Dentistry