These body parts have a few things in common. First, they are considered vestigial parts, which means they no longer serve a clear purpose. Second, people often have them removed because they are creating problems.
Tonsils are removed when they are prone to infection. Appendixes are removed when they become inflamed.
And wisdom teeth are often removed when they become impacted.
If you live in or near Marietta, GA, our team at Atlanta West Dentistry can help identify these problematic wisdom teeth. We can also handle teeth extraction procedures at our office.
To find out if your wisdom teeth or the wisdom teeth of someone you love should be removed, schedule a dental exam with one of our doctors. You can call 770-744-4619 to set up your appointment.
What are Impacted Teeth?
An impacted tooth is any tooth that cannot erupt fully. Teeth may be partially or fully impacted.
A partially impacted tooth breaks the surface of the gumline, while a fully impacted tooth remains completely below the gumline.
Why Impacted Teeth are a Problem
These teeth can create serious long-term problems regardless of whether they are fully or partially impacted. Any tooth can become impacted, however, it’s more common with wisdom teeth.
This is at least in part because wisdom teeth erupt later than the rest of your permanent teeth. Typically, people have most of their permanent teeth around age 12 or 13. In most cases, wisdom teeth don’t usually erupt until people are in the late teens or early 20s.
Unfortunately, our jaws are also smaller than our ancestors (according to fossil records). This means many people don’t have jaws that are large enough to allow wisdom teeth to come in correctly.
There are multiple hypotheses about why that might be the case, but that’s not important here. What you need to know is that impacted wisdom teeth can create bigger issues.
First, impacted teeth can be painful. This is not the case for everyone, but if your teeth come in at the wrong angle it may lead to soreness or tenderness along your gums or jawline.
Second, wisdom teeth can alter the alignment of your teeth. Even if your wisdom teeth can’t erupt correctly, they will still push on nearby teeth. This can cause that tooth to push on the tooth next to it, and so on, which could alter the appearance of your entire smile.
Third, wisdom teeth can increase your risk of cavities and gum disease. A partially impacted tooth, in particular, can trap food particles and bacteria in places that can’t be cleaned. That’s the perfect opportunity for tooth disease and periodontal infections to begin.
There’s No Need to Risk Your Smile
In all aspects of healthcare, prevention is the best medicine.
In dentistry, this is why we encourage patients to brush and floss every day. These habits remove bacteria and plaque, which cause decay and gum disease, and food particles, which can become fuel for the bacteria.
It’s also why we encourage every patient to schedule routine dental cleanings and exams. This is an opportunity for a dental professional to give you a thorough cleaning — to remove any plaque or tartar buildup you may have. It’s also a chance to give you a thorough exam. If you do have decay or periodontal disease, we want to find it early and treat it as soon as possible.
We also want to monitor your family’s wisdom teeth. With the help of digital X-rays, we can observe any changes between visits. It also means we can identify wisdom teeth that could become problematic before those problems occur.
By doing this, we can advise you on whether your wisdom teeth should be removed. We would much rather help you avoid the risk of misaligned teeth or repeated oral infections whenever possible.
Schedule an Exam
Our team of skilled dental professionals can examine your wisdom teeth and remove them at our office in Marietta, GA. Wisdom tooth extractions are just one of the oral surgeries we can provide.