If you’re like most people, you’ll have your “wisdom” teeth removed at some point in your life.
Perhaps you’ve already undergone this procedure and now your son or daughter is experiencing mouth discomfort due to these large third molars. Is the pain affecting their sleep? Are they having trouble eating?
What’s in a name? Our third molars are called wisdom teeth, because these teeth usually don’t make themselves known until the late teens or early 20s. Since the beginning of time, we’ve associated wisdom with age … and that’s really all there is to the name.
Current theory is that humans developed wisdom teeth to aid in the tough job of grinding foods during prehistoric times. People then also had a much larger jaw to accommodate four wisdom teeth – one in the back of each mouth quadrant. Over time, the diet of humans became more refined and wisdom teeth became obsolete.
You might ask, “But we were born with them, so why are wisdom teeth a problem?” Our jaws are considerably smaller than those of our ancestors, so by the time our permanent teeth (except for the wisdom teeth) have erupted into our mouth, they’ve taken all the space we have. Wisdom teeth have nowhere to go. This leads to impacted teeth (trapped in the jawbone) that put pressure on adjacent molars, causing them to shift … causing pain and misaligned teeth. Wisdom teeth aren’t so wise after all … and usually do more harm than good.
As an Arlington & Pantego dentist, we most-often recommend removing wisdom teeth as a safe and effective way of way of avoiding oral health problems that often accompany them, such as tooth decay, gum disease, cysts, and damaged teeth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call Golden Rule Dental Care to talk to us about your preventive dentistry options…
- Jaw pain and swelling in the molar region
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Swollen, red, tender, or bleeding gums at the back of your mouth.
The importance of interception. Even if you don’t experience any of these symptoms … it’s important to see us for your regular hygiene and doctor checkup visits. We’ll review your medical history, examine your mouth, and take x-rays to predict whether your wisdom teeth may cause future discomfort and concern. Depending on what we find, removal of these teeth may be recommended.
Not always do all wisdom teeth have to be removed. In some cases, close monitoring and special cleaning techniques are enough to keep wisdom teeth in check… But the only way of knowing what action should be taken is by calling us – your trusted Golden Rule Dental Care team – for a thorough examination.
We are firm believers in preventive dentistry to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come.
Yours in excellent dental health,
Dr. Nathan J. Flesher, your family dentist in Pantego & Arlington