When any of your other teeth experience a problem, such as being damaged or forced out of alignment, there’s often a viable solution for addressing the issue and saving the tooth. However, this isn’t always the case with your third molars, or wisdom teeth. When it comes to your wisdom teeth, the most common problem is impaction, meaning the molar doesn’t enough space to erupt from your dental ridge properly. There may not be a way to save the tooth, but fortunately, you can avoid further problems by extracting your wisdom teeth, and removing them won’t negatively impact your oral health or bite function.
Why do we grow third molars?
The unique thing about your third set of molars is that the extraneous teeth aren’t essential to your proper bite function. Experts believe they’re a remnant of our ancestors, who needed more biting and chewing power and had larger jawbone structures to accommodate them. Today, many people still develop wisdom teeth without any problems, but many also experience troubles due to a smaller dental ridge that doesn’t have enough room for three sets of permanent molars. This leads to a number of other concerns that can negatively impact your other natural teeth and the rest of your oral structures.
The nature of common wisdom tooth problems
The fact that wisdom teeth can become impacted is the reason why they may need to be extracted. The cause of this impact – a lack of adequate space – is why saving impacted wisdom teeth isn’t usually possible. When a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, it can be forced into one of a variety of errant positions, from slightly diagonal to completely horizontal. Regardless of its position, the molar will continue trying to erupt from your dental ridge, and as it does, it can lead to damage to other teeth. If you hesitate to extract a wisdom tooth, then you may need to restore and save one or more of your other natural teeth in order to restore your good oral health and bite function.
Are your wisdom teeth giving you problems?
It isn’t always easy to tell when your wisdom teeth are becoming problematic. When it first becomes impacted, the wisdom tooth might not cause any discomfort, or seem as though it’s growing out of alignment. Because of this, it’s often prudent to extract your wisdom teeth before they have a chance to cause problems in the future. To determine if this is a good idea, your oral health specialist can perform a comprehensive diagnostic exam, including detailed digital X-rays of your dental ridges to gauge the position of your third molars.
Learn how to save your smile from wisdom teeth
Given the nature of most common wisdom tooth problems, saving them isn’t typically an option. However, you can often save the rest of your oral health by extracting them. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA, today at 707-545-4625.