As we approach our teenage years many of us will start to notice our wisdom teeth starting to come into our mouth. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt and they are usually the teeth that can cause the most issues for people.
What should an individual do if they notice their wisdom teeth starting to come in? Before we tackle this question it is important to educate yourself on the different types of wisdom teeth, and how not all wisdom teeth erupt into the mouth.
What are the different kinds of wisdom teeth?
There are four main kinds of wisdom teeth based on their position within the jawbone:
- Erupted Wisdom Teeth: These wisdom teeth completely erupt in the mouth. In some people with enough jaw space, they can even kept if the person can keep the wisdom teeth healthy and free of cavities.
- Soft tissue Impacted Wisdom Teeth: These wisdom teeth are erupted in the mouth, but are covered by gum or soft tissue. This gum tissue can cause a myriad of problems in the mouth, including an inflammatory condition called pericoronitis.
- Partially Impacted Wisdom Teeth: These wisdom teeth are partially erupted in the mouth, as well as partially embedded in your jawbone. Most of these impacted teeth will require removal at some point in a person’s life.
- Full Bony Wisdom Teeth: These are wisdom teeth that are completely embedded in the jawbone. They usually do not erupt in the mouth, and will need to be removed by an oral surgery team.
How else can wisdom teeth be classified?
Wisdom teeth can also be classified by their direction in which they are erupting:
- Vertical Wisdom Teeth: These wisdom teeth erupt directly in a vertical direction into the mouth
- Mesioangular Wisdom Teeth: These wisdom teeth are position slightly sideways towards the adjacent second molar in your mouth. These teeth, along with Horizontal Wisdom Teeth, can damage adjacent second molars if they are not removed at an early age. They can contribute to the formation of distal cavities leading to extensive dental treatment on those teeth as well.
- Horizontal Wisdom Teeth: As mentioned, these teeth are directed sideways towards the adjacent second molar. Some surgeons consider these teeth the most necessary to remove due to their ability to cause infections and cause caries.
If my wisdom teeth are coming in, do I have to remove them?
As we mentioned, some wisdom teeth can contribute to the natural chewing patterns that we have. They do not always need to be removed. If an individual can keep them clean and caries-free, then these teeth can remain in your mouth indefinitely. Mesioangular and horizontal bony wisdom teeth almost always should be removed to prevent intra-oral damage and potential infections as you age. Remember, it is always advisable to check with your dentist to see what their recommendations are in regards wisdom teeth removal as your wisdom teeth are coming in.
Do all wisdom teeth erupt?
No they do not. Some wisdom teeth do not come in, and are better known as impacted wisdom teeth. These teeth are often recommended for removal by your treating dentist or surgeon as they can lead to a myriad of oral health concerns.
What steps should you take if your erupting wisdom teeth are hurting
If your wisdom teeth are causing issues inside your mouth, see your dentist as soon as possible. Most times, he or she will recommend their removal, or they will place you on a prescription based mouth-rinse (Chlorhexidine) to calm the area of any inflammation if it exists. Most wisdom teeth that are coming and hurting will more than likely need to be removed. If your wisdom teeth are severely infected, then your dentist may place you on an antibiotic first before any procedures are performed. If you notice your erupting wisdom teeth are causing swelling in the affected area, it may be another sign that your wisdom teeth will probably need to be removed.
At Best Dental, we recommend wisdom teeth removal, especially once they start coming in. Removing your wisdom teeth at an early age will help you prevent oral health issues, and save you a lot of your heard earned money down the road. If your wisdom teeth are coming in, come visit our team at Best Dental today.