Over 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. Impacted wisdom teeth are the most prevalent medical and developmental disorder, making wisdom tooth extraction a general preventative procedure that we perform. As your child enters their teenage years, it might be necessary to take them to a dentist to evaluate their wisdom teeth by performing a panoramic x-ray. Often a dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon, like Dr. Davis, for this procedure. Early evaluation and knowledge of the symptoms of emerging wisdom teeth can help determine when your child might be ready to schedule an appointment with the Oral Facial Institute for removal.
Why Remove Them?
Wisdom teeth can cause discomfort as they emerge. They are also very prone to complications if left in the mouth for too long. Most people do not have room in their mouths to allow wisdom teeth to grow correctly, causing them to become impacted. Without space to emerge, wisdom teeth apply pressure on the rest of the teeth causing other teeth to shift in the jaw. If the teeth have room to grow, they are still in a hard-to-reach position and encroach on a major nerve in the jaw as the roots develop.
Because the teeth are located so far behind the second molars, it becomes difficult to clean them properly, which can cause a buildup of plaque and bacteria. As plaque accumulates on the back teeth, cavities form on the second and third molars. Not only can decay in the form of cavities occur, but a large number of bacteria can also cause soft tissue infections, cysts, and other abnormalities around the teeth.
What Are the Signs
Wisdom teeth take a significant amount of time to develop completely. However, early detection can allow monitoring before determining whether the teeth need removal. As your child nears age 16, your dentist might point out the growth of the third molars on an x-ray at a regular appointment. When these teeth emerge, they tend to cause some discomfort, although some patients might not experience any. If your child is experiencing pain at the back of their mouth, wisdom teeth could be the suspect cause.
The common symptoms or signs that the third molars might be erupting include:
- Facial Swelling
- Swollen Gums
Wisdom tooth extraction is very common. As your child nears age 16, their wisdom teeth are most likely emerging. Whether your child is experiencing any signs or symptoms, it could be a sign to consider an assessment with our Oral Facial Institute team. Dr. Davis can offer your child an accurate evaluation and timeline for wisdom tooth extraction.