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When your third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth, come in, what do they do? What is there purpose? Do we really need them? Long ago, when our ancestors were trying to eat reeds and plants, we needed these back teeth to help chew. But since our diets have evolved, so have our jaws, which are smaller than our ancestors were. This means the extra teeth, our wisdom teeth, are no longer necessary and can actually become problematic.

They are difficult to clean, brushing and flossing, because of where they are located. This makes them susceptible to dental caries and gum disease.

Signs of wisdom teeth problems include:

–Misalignment of the surrounding teeth
–Infection
–Jaw pain or ache
–Bad breath and unpleasant taste when eating
–Red, swollen gums where the molars are
–A raw gum line in the back of the mouth
–Pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth

What are some of the complications of our wisdom teeth? Coming in sideways can crowd nearby teeth, throw off your bite and alignment, and cause tooth decay and gum disease—even if they only partially erupt.

If cysts develop around the wisdom teeth, this can hollow out the jaw and damage nerves. They can also wreak havoc with your sinuses, causing pressure, pain and congestion.

In addition to causing gum inflammation on the tissue, making the swelling hard to clean, swollen gums can create pockets in between the teeth that encourages bacteria and cavities.

Impaction occurs when the wisdom teeth remain inside the gum tissue or the jawbone, or only partially break through or erupt in the gums. When this happens, harmful bacteria come in through the opening, surround the tooth, and cause infection. Once infection occurs you can experience jaw stiffness, pain, and swelling.

How do you fix wisdom teeth which are impacted? Removing the problem teeth will not only fix the issues you are currently experiencing, but it will also prevent more problems down the road. If you are experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth, one of our skilled dentists will evaluate your situation and discuss your options. If you would like to schedule a consultation with either Dr. Timothy Ross or Dr. Susan Chmiel please call our dental team at 414-525-0300 today!