Third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are our last set of molars that usually show up in our late teens and early twenties. Some of you are incredibly lucky and your molars may come in properly aligned and they won’t affect you at all! However, most of the time, they come in misaligned and could affect the rest of your teeth – causing many problems down the road. Wisdom teeth can come in horizontally, get stuck under your gum tissue (known as impacted), or only partially come through your gum. It’s a common question, “how will my third molars affect me?”
Do They Harm My Other Teeth?
Unfortunately, yes. When wisdom teeth come in misaligned, they can shift all of your other teeth if they are not extracted. This is one of the main reasons for extraction – to keep protect your other teeth. Impacted molars (ones that do not have room to break through your gum) are usually painful because they cannot develop normally, but they are also prone to infection and decay because they’re impossible to reach and clean. This can also pose larger risks for the surrounding teeth.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Wisdom teeth are usually found through x-rays – where your dentist will determine if they are coming in properly or misaligned. In many cases, you may have your wisdom teeth removed before they even start to cause problems or pain – so they may not affect you at all!
Third molars can be extracted by a fairly simple procedure, especially if they have already broken through the gums. Usually the procedure is done in your dentist’s office and requires local anesthetic or sedation. If your teeth have not erupted and are impacted under your gums, you may need oral surgery – but, it’s not as scary as it sounds! Recovery is also simple, with medications to manage your pain, ice to manage your swelling, and soft foods (just for a couple weeks) so you won’t damage your incision site.