Know the warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth before they become an issue.
As a top provider of dental services for kids, we work with your children from infancy all the way through adolescence. Because we work with many teenagers, we have to also address the dreaded woe of wisdom teeth.
Between ages 17-25, most young adults will need to deal with the issue of wisdom teeth. Despite their name, the growth of wisdom teeth don’t bring extra wisdom for your teen (although you may wish they did!). Instead, they can bring tooth erosion and decay, painful gums and headaches.
You may wonder why we even have wisdom teeth, when their only purpose appears to be removal! Wisdom teeth are actually an evolutionary development vital to the nutrition of our ancestors. Thousands of years ago, tooth decay was a simple fact of life, and no one would make it through adulthood keeping an original set of teeth. In order to ensure that our ancestors could continue to obtain proper nutrition, especially through eating tough meats to get enough protein, there needed to be an extra set of molars to replace the old ones. Wisdom teeth, or “third molars,” did just that.
However, because the average adult mouth is designed to only hold 28 teeth, and most adults aren’t losing teeth in that 17-25 age range these days due to proper oral healthcare, there simply isn’t enough room for those extra four teeth to erupt.
When these wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to erupt above the gumline, they become impacted, lodging painfully in the jawbone. In order to bypass the inevitable pain of impacted teeth, most dentists will recommend that they be removed before the issue presents itself. However, sometimes the pain of wisdom teeth can unexpectedly occur before they can be removed. It is important to pay attention to these warning signs and immediately contact a trusted provider of dental services for kids.
Warning Signs of Impacted Teeth
- Jaw pain. The impacted teeth will cause pain in the back of the jaw, located near the gums where the wisdom teeth are attempting to erupt.
- Bad breath and gum swelling. Due to the pressure and disruption caused by the wisdom teeth, the gums can swell, turn red and become infected. Bad breath can also be a side effect of this change.
- Headaches. Though headaches alone are not reason enough to suspect wisdom teeth woes, if coupled with any other symptoms, they can be a strong indicator of impacted teeth.
- Chewing issues. Wisdom teeth change the landscape of the back of your mouth, even when they are still covered by your gums. If you notice changes in your chewing motion, your wisdom teeth may be the culprits.
For more information on the warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth, or the process to have them removed, contact Sea of Smiles today! Our dental services for kids are unrivaled; you will love our friendly dental team that will make you feel right at home!
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