As you age, your dental needs change. Michael McKeel, DMD and the staff at McKeel Family Dentistry want to help Gresham patients get through and understand those changes. One significant change most people experience in early adulthood is the appearance of their wisdom teeth. To help Gresham patients understand their wisdom teeth, Michael McKeel, DMD, answers the following questions about wisdom teeth.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Appear?
Your third molars, also known as your wisdom teeth, typically come in sometime between the ages of 17 to 21. It is due to the fact that these teeth come in at a later stage of maturity that they have been historically referred to as wisdom teeth.
Should Wisdom Teeth Feel Painful When Coming In?
When they come through correctly, healthy wisdom teeth can help you chew. It’s normal to feel a little discomfort when your wisdom teeth appear. However, if you have pain, Michael McKeel, DMD and the staff at McKeel Family Dentistry recommend you see your dentist as soon as possible.
Do Wisdom Teeth Need Extra Room To Grow?
Yes. Wisdom teeth can lead to problems if there isn’t enough space for them to surface or they come through in the wrong position. If your dentist says your wisdom teeth are impacted, he or she means they are trapped in your jaw or under your gums. As your wisdom teeth make their way through your gums, your dentist will be monitoring your mouth for signs of the following:
- Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the right position can allow food to become trapped. That gives cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow.
- Wisdom teeth that haven’t come in properly, which can make it difficult to floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them.
- Wisdom teeth that have partially come through can give bacteria a place to enter the gums and create a place for infection to occur. This may also lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness in your jaw.
- Wisdom teeth that don’t have room to come through are thought by some to crowd or damage neighboring teeth.
- A wisdom tooth that is impacted can form a cyst on or near the impacted tooth. This could damage the roots of nearby teeth or destroy the bone that supports your teeth.
Why Might I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as pain, infection, cysts, tumors, damage to neighboring teeth, gum disease, tooth decay or in instances where it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth. Another reason a dentist may recommend removal of wisdom teeth may be due to treatment for braces or other dental care.
For all matters regarding wisdom teeth removal, Michael McKeel, DMD will first examine the patient’s mouth and take an x-ray before making any decisions. Michael McKeel, DMD will keep all Gresham patients informed of their options and help them find the best course of treatment in caring for their wisdom teeth.
What About Keeping My Wisdom Teeth?
Even when wisdom teeth do not need to be removed, they should still be closely monitored because the potential for developing problems later on still exists. As people age, they are at greater risk for health problems—and that includes potential problems with their wisdom teeth. Be sure to floss around your wisdom teeth and visit your dentist regularly.
McKeel Family Dentistry Offers Professional Dental Care Services In Gresham
Making regular visits to your dentist is the key to maintaining good dental health.
Dr. Michael L. McKeel, DMD., has almost 50 years of experience providing oral health services to the Gresham community and specializes in dental bonding procedures. We have a friendly, family-oriented staff committed to providing each of our patients with the best dental care services in Gresham.
Trust McKeel Family Dentistry in Gresham to meet the needs of your family’s complete oral health. Learn about the wide range of dental services we offer, including children’s dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dental bonding, exams and cleanings, and much more. To schedule a visit or if you have questions, please contact us or call us at (503) 665-8888.