Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, get their name by being the last teeth to come in during young adulthood. As part of a dental visit, Dr. Moore or Dr. Redmin will examine you (or your child) to determine if your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly positioned.
Often times, wisdom teeth do not have sufficient room in the back of the mouth to grow. In some instances the tooth only partially emerges through the gums. Other times, the wisdom teeth remain completely hidden. Wisdom teeth that aren’t able to emerge normally become impacted, or trapped, within your jaw. Wisdom teeth can also grow at various angles in the jaw, even horizontally – which further complicate matters.
If the wisdom teeth emerge partially through the gums, a passageway is created. This can become a magnet for bacteria that cause gum disease and oral infection. Since this area is hard to keep clean in the back of the mouth – it can lead to issues.
According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience changes in the area of those teeth, such as:
- Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
- Cysts (fluid-filled sacs)
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Gum disease
- Extensive tooth decay
The decision to remove wisdom teeth isn’t always clear. Talk to the staff at Moore Family Dental about the position and health of your wisdom teeth and what’s best for your situation.