Did you know that 10 to 25% of Euro-Americans lack one or more wisdom teeth – and that percentage jumps to 40% in Asian-Americans. Evolution certainly is making its mark when it comes to jaw development and the need, or room, for third molars – commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. But for those of us who have all four wisdom teeth, there is a need to pay special attention to these teeth that live at the back of our mouths as often they can be the cause of significant discomfort.
Wisdom teeth usually erupt by the age of 21 – with teeth usually starting to break through gum tissue at around age 17. For some people wisdom teeth erupt without any drama and don’t create any issues within the mouth – but for some of us the arrival of wisdom teeth isn’t that easy and often requires the assistance of a Calgary Dentist to extract these teeth to avoid ongoing pain and discomfort.
NW Calgary General Dentists at Ranchlands Dental explain that wisdom teeth often need to be extracted due to them not erupting fully or due to them causing crowding. It sounds crazy, but some wisdom teeth literally run out of steam and are unable to break through bone and gum – they may have made it part way but do not fully-erupt and remain with some bone and gum covering them. This partial eruption of wisdom teeth often leads to an infection due to bacteria getting caught under the flap of gum that is partially covering the tooth. If you have a partially erupted wisdom tooth and your gum is feeling inflamed and is sore to touch – chances are you are experiencing Pericoronitis – or inflammation of the tissue covering the top of the tooth. Left untreated an un-erupted wisdom tooth can cause significant pain due to infection of the gum and bone. Contacting your NW Calgary Dentist is essential as extraction of the wisdom teeth is required to control the infection and pain.
But wisdom teeth don’t have to be infected or trapped under bone and gum to cause discomfort. Wisdom teeth often cause pain by pressing on the teeth in front of them – and can even erode the roots of the second molars by leaning and pressing on them. As much as no one wants to lose a tooth – wisdom teeth are usually happier when they are outside of the mouth – and patients are definitely happier saying goodbye to these troublesome teeth.