Today, at Hawaiian Smile Orthodontics we are here to talk about the myths surrounding wisdom teeth. We have all heard about wisdom teeth, and most of us have also experienced the pain that comes along with having our wisdom teeth come in.
As your trusted orthodontist in Kaneohe, we are here to set the record straight and give you as much information as possible regarding wisdom teeth and the many concerns they come with. One thing is for sure, wisdom teeth won’t make you smarter. Let’s start at the beginning.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
This is the third and final set of molars to emerge from the back of the mouth. They are technically your “third molars,” but they are more commonly known as your “wisdom teeth.” Between the ages of 17 and 25, they erupt. They are not required for proper chewing and speaking. Wisdom teeth are so-called because they usually appear later in life than your other teeth. As part of a complete set of 32 adult teeth, you get two on top and two on the bottom.
One of the most asked questions we get regarding wisdom teeth is if they really need to be removed. Well, sometimes, yes, your emergency orthodontist in Kaneohe might need to remove your wisdom teeth. But don’t worry just yet, there are times when removal is not necessary.
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are unable to grow normally in many people. The teeth either become stuck beneath the gums or only partially break through the gums. These teeth are referred to as impacted by dentists. Wisdom teeth usually become impacted because there isn’t enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth that are growing in, or because the tooth comes in at an incorrect angle and collides with the tooth in front of it.
Wisdom teeth that have become impacted are fairly common. Although some people have no problems with them, impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe dental issues.
The Effects of Impacted Wisdom Teeth on Oral Health
Food, plaque, and other debris can sometimes become trapped in the soft tissue surrounding an impacted wisdom tooth, causing swelling, gum tenderness, cavities, and bad breath. Additionally, Because they are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, these wisdom teeth are more prone to bacteria growth. Food and bacteria are more prevalent between the teeth and gums, potentially affecting other teeth. The additional bacteria cause decay and infection, which must be treated.
These teeth develop in a sac within the jaw. The sac may occasionally fill with fluid. The sack may then grow into a cyst. Cysts are uncomfortable and can harm the jaw, gums, and teeth.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth that are impacted do not always cause symptoms. When an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected, damages other teeth, or causes other dental problems, you may notice some of the following signs or symptoms:
- Gums that are red or swollen
- Gums that are tender or bleed
- Jaw ache
- Swelling of the jaw
- Breath that stinks
- You have an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
- Having trouble opening your mouth
Now that you know a bit more about what wisdom teeth are, and how impacted wisdom teeth can affect your oral health, let’s take a look at another common concern.
Can Wisdom Teeth Shift My Teeth?
The short answer is no, One of the most widely held beliefs about wisdom teeth is that they push the teeth in front of them, causing them to the crowd. This was widely held for a long time, which is why many orthodontists, general dentists, and oral surgeons recommended wisdom tooth extraction to prevent teeth crowding, particularly after orthodontic treatment. However, this preventive measure is no longer necessary, and the presence of wisdom teeth has little to do with tooth crowding.
There is a wealth of documented evidence that refutes the theory that wisdom teeth can influence tooth movement and thus cause crowding. They simply cannot apply the necessary pressure. Regardless of the presence of wisdom teeth, studies have shown that teeth will naturally drift forward throughout life. Teeth move slightly forward over time, and the space between the lower canines narrows. This can happen even if your wisdom teeth have been removed.
So, if you have crooked teeth, it is likely that your wisdom teeth are not to blame. Modern research has revealed that tooth crowding can be inherited or the result of specific habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing, to name a few. It could also be due to tooth loss or injury, as well as incorrect jaw development.
Do I Have to Wait to Get My Braces?
It is simplest to notice problems at age seven, which is why it is the optimal age to undergo an initial orthodontic evaluation. Braces can be used to make slight modifications to guide the teeth into appropriate alignment if needed because the teeth are just beginning to erupt. On the other hand, it’s also important to remember that it’s also never too late to start orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment aims to achieve more than just straight teeth. While appearance is one of the reasons individuals seek orthodontic treatment, the main one is that it has an impact on your oral and overall health.
Straighter teeth are easier to care for, and better home care implies fewer dental problems like decay and gum disease. Furthermore, when teeth are properly aligned, chewing becomes easier, which can lead to improved digestion and nutritional absorption.
Early orthodontic treatment can help you and your children live healthier lives. They’ll also appreciate having a lovely, healthy, straight grin. That’s a win-win situation for you both!
Braces and Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Some people are concerned about having their wisdom teeth pulled while wearing braces. The good news is that you can have your wisdom teeth extracted even if you are already wearing braces; it will not impair your orthodontic treatment, and your braces will not influence your wisdom teeth removal recovery! So there’s no need to put off having your wisdom teeth extracted.
The extraction will be painless because your dentist or oral surgeon will use a local anesthetic or sedative to remove the teeth. The teeth will be extracted expertly and quickly by the dentist or surgeon. They may close the hole with a few tiny stitches after the extractions. When you return for a check-up in a week or so, these will either disintegrate or be removed.
You can return home that day. When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain or discomfort; treat with any over-the-counter pain reliever. For a few days, avoid gritty or sticky foods, and rinse your mouth with salt water or an antiseptic rinse supplied by your dentist to keep the holes clean.
Your dentist may also give you an oral syringe to flush out any food or debris that may have become lodged in the holes created by extractions. Because your mouth is one of your body’s fastest-healing organs, the holes will close up rapidly.
Once the holes from tooth extraction have healed, you can begin or continue orthodontic treatment: the gap left by the extraction will soon be filled by healthy teeth with inappropriate alignment, all under your doctor’s supervision.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
To learn more about wisdom teeth or if you believe you could benefit from wisdom tooth extraction visit our website to schedule a consultation with our Dr. At Hawaiian Smiles Orthodontics we are always happy to help you and your family achieve the smile of your dreams.